While Duke Chapel is closed for live services, we are re-broadcasting selected services from our archives. Today we are repeating Choral Vespers originally broadcast on April 26th, 2018.
Music for this service features works by composers from England, Germany and Bohemia. The service opens with John Sheppard’s motet Libera nos, salva nos. Built over a slowly moving plainsong melody (or cantus firmus) in the bass, Sheppard weaves an elaborate texture of imitative polyphony in the upper voices. At the end of the service, we hear his reflective Responsory for Compline, In manus tuas.
Gregor Aichinger’s motet Regina caeli is a setting of the Marian Antiphon for Eastertide, and the canticle is a Nunc dimittis by the Czech composer František Tuma.
O Jesu Christ, meins Lebens Licht (O Jesus Christ, light of my life), BWV 118, is a funeral motet composed by Johann Sebastian Bach to a hymn text from 1610 by Martin Behm. Described as “something between a cantata movement and a motet,” this work is based on the chorale Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid. The lower voices of the choir sing counterpoint to the chorale melody line in the soprano supported by a gently rocking accompaniment.