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…

Peter Philips (1560-1628): Ascendit Deus

Peter Philips’ five-part setting of the Offertory motet Ascendit Deus (God has ascended) was written In Festo Ascensionis Domini it takes its text from Psalm Psalm 46 (47): 5 and 102 (103):19. As you might expect from Philips it’s a superbly written piece of  music which opens with a marvellous rising figure before moving on…

Peter Philips (1560-1628): Cantabant Sancti

Philips  composed Cantabant Sancti (The Saints sing) In Festo SS. Innocentium – in honour of The Feast of the Holy Innocents which falls on December 28th and commemorates the massacre of the children by King Herod in his attempt to kill the infant Jesus (Matthew 2:16–18). It’s a responsory and versicle that starts with just…

Peter Philips (1560-1628): Ave Regina cælorum

Peter Philips’ setting of the Marian antiphon Ave Regina cælorum (Hail, Queen of heaven) was published in his Cantiones Sacræ of 1612. It’s a five-part (SSATB) setting very much in the new Roman style. The five-voice structure meant that he could vary the texture at will to reflect words or phrases in his text coupled…

Peter Philips (±1560-1628): Surgens Jesus Dominus

Back in May 2013 I posted a performance of Philips’ wonderful Easter motet by the Tudor Consort (see: Peter Philips (±1560-1628): Surgens Jesus Dominus | Saturday Chorale – mfi) it’s a fine performance of a superb piece of  music that’s well worth your while listening to. I also greatly enjoy the somewhat more sedate performance…

Peter Philips (1560-1628): Ecce panis angelorum

Between 1612 and 1613 Philips engaged in a massive publishing effort publishing no less than three volumes of his church music. Ecce panis angelorum (Behold the bread of angels) is a sequence hymn for Corpus Christi the source of which is verses 11 and 12 of Aquinas’ Lauda Sion Salvatorem. It’s an eight-part setting –…

Peter Philips (1560-1628): Panis sancte, panis vive

We don’t know exactly when Philips was born or anything about his parentage however we do know that he was brought up by Sebastian Westcote the organist and almoner of St Paul’s Cathedral. Westcote was also a notorious recusant and upon his death Philips who didn’t have powerful aristocratic patrons to protect him fled to…

Peter Philips (1560-1628): Regina Caeli laetare

The Regina Caeli is one of four Marian antiphons traditionally said or sung after compline. It is said throughout Eastertide –  the fifty day period from Easter Sunday to Pentecost, and during that period can be said in place of the Angelus. Philips’  setting while it is for two choirs is more Roman than Venetian…

Peter Philips (±1560-1628): Surgens Jesus Dominus

Philips’ Easter motet ‘Surgens Jesus Dominus’ (Christ our Lord rising)  which he published in 1612 inCantiones Sacrae has a wonderful sense of forward movement and of joy. I particularly like how he sets Jesus’ words apart from the rest of the moter by using three simple block chords to emphasise them. It’s sung below by…

Peter Philips (±1560-1628): Tristitia Vestra

Phillips composed this gem-like motet in Commune Apostolorum, Tempore Paschali ( for The Common of Apostles in Paschal Time). He wanted to depict the Apostles’ grief at Jesus’ death turning to joy at Jesus’ reappearance following his resurrection. To do it he used a slow-moving sonorous polyphony at the start of the motet to depict…

Peter Philips (±1560-1628): Jubilate Deo omnis terra

Philips’ motet ‘Jubilate Deo omnis terra’  (Rejoice in the Lord in all lands) is a setting of  a slightly adapted Psalm 99 in the Vulgate (Psalm 100 in the KJV and later). It’s polychoral –  SATB SATB, and the thirteenth piece in his collection Cantiones sacrae octonis vocibus published in 1613. I enjoy listening to…

Peter Philips (±1560-1628): Salve Regina

Peter Philips was born in 1560 or 1561, presumably in London. He was trained as a choirboy and in composition at St Paul’s Cathedral by the famous Catholic recusant Sebastian Westcote who was almoner and choirmaster there. Westcote died in 1582 leaving a legacy to Philips. Like his contemporary Byrd Philips was a Catholic unlike…