Peter Philips (±1560-1628): O quam suavis

This is the second of two settings by Philips of O quam suavis the Magnificat Antiphon for First Vespers on the Feast of Corpus Christi, it’s an eight-part (SATB.SATB) setting  and was published in the 1613 in the first edition of his Cantiones sacrae octonis vocibus. The setting is a bit unusual in that he starts the the motet with the full choir singing a slow progression of chords. This progression moves flatward which during Philips’ time was considered to be the musical way of representing or depicting sweetness (suavis).  Enjoy :-)


Peter Philips (±1560-1628): O quam suavis


O quam suavis est, Domine, Spiritus tuus
qui ut dulcedinem tuam
in filios demonstrares,
pane suavissimo de caelo praestito,
esurientes reples bonis,
fastidiosos divites
dimittens inanes.

Antiphon for the Feast of Corpus Christi

How gracious is your Spirit, O Lord,
who, to show your loving kindness
towards your children,
have given the sweetest bread of heaven,
filling the hungry with good things
and sending the discontented rich
away empty.

Performers: The Choir Of Royal Holloway conducted By Rupert Gough

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