Peter Philips (1560-1628): Ave verum corpus, natum de Maria virgine

Philips” published his setting of Ave verum Corpus the text of which combines references to the Eucharist, the Passion, and to Mary was published in his collection Cantiones sacrae, pro præcipuis festis totius anni et communi in Antwerp in 1612. It’s a five-part (SSATB) setting that, unusually for Philips’ sacred choral music, is very "English" in its style and character.  In fact the musical language that Philips employs here reminds me quite strongly of Byrd and I find myself wondering if this motet together with O nomen Jesu and Ne reminiscaris, Domine were intended as a conscious homage from one Catholic English composer to another. Enjoy :-)


Peter Philips (1560-1628): Ave verum corpus, natum de Maria virgine

Ave verum corpus, natum de Maria virgine,
vere passum, immolatum, in cruce pro homine.
Cujus latus perforatum unda fluxit sanguine.
Esto nobis praegustatum, in mortis examine.
O dulcis, o pie, o Jesu, Fili Mariae,
miserere mei.

Hail true body, born of the virgin Mary,
truly killed, sacrificed, on the cross for mankind.
Whose pierced side flowed with a tide of blood.
The one first put to the test for us, in the trial of death. Gentle, holy Jesus, Son of Mary, have mercy on me.

Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge, conducted by Richard Marlow

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *