O Quam Gloriosum Victoria
For All the Saints Vaughan Williams
Alleluia Thompson
Most Highly Favored Lady arr. Massey
Carol of the Rose Dunn
Ave Maria Victoria
Ubi Caritas Duruflé
Ubi Caritas Helvering
Rise Up My Love, My Fair One Willan
For Thy Sweet Love Young
Hymn to St. Cecilia Britten
Consecrate the Place and Day Pfautsch
Sanctus and Benedictus from Mass for Four Voices Byrd
Sanctus from Simple Mass Lotti
Sanctus from Deutsche Messe Schubert
Let All Mortal Flesh Bairstow
Alleluia Manuel


Text Translations and Notes


All Saints’ Day
The feast of All Saints is thought to have originated in 609, when Pope Boniface IV dedicated the Pantheon in Rome to the Blessed Virgin Mary. It was at first celebrated on May 13th but Pope Gregory III (Pope from 731-41) changed the date to November 1st when he dedicated a chapel in honor of All Saints in the Vatican Basilica. Still celebrated on the first of November, All Saints’ Day was originally instituted to honor all the saints, known and unknown, and, according to Urban IV (pope from 1216-64 ) to supply any deficiencies in the faithful’s celebration of saints’ feasts during the year.

Tomás Luis de Victoria (1548-1611) began his musical education as a chorister at Avila Cathedral, Spain but spent most of his career as a singer, organist and priest in Rome. Although Victoria is perhaps best known for his poignant and intense music, he was known to have a rather cheerful disposition, as “O quam gloriosum” shows. The motet hails from Victoria’s first book of motets, published in 1572. It displays both his contrapuntal and harmonic technique and his characteristically impassioned word-setting. The text is based on the traditional All Saints’ Day antiphon “O quam gloriosum” taken from Revelation 7—“How glorious is the kingdom where all the saints rejoice with Christ.”

O quam gloriosum est regnum
O, how glorious is the kingdom
in quo cum Christo gaudent omnes sancti,
where all the saints rejoice with Christ,
amicti stolis albis
clothed in white robes,
Agnum sequuntur quocunque ierit
Following the Lamb wherever He shall go.

Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) was a pupil of Stanford and Parry at the Royal College of Music and later studied with Max Bruch in Berlin and Maurice Ravel in Paris. At the turn of the century, he served as music editor for the 1906 English Hymnal, for which he wrote the well-known hymn tune Sine Nomine (Without Name) as a setting of the text “For all the saints.”

For all the saints, who from their labors rest,
who thee by faith before the world confessed,
thy name, O Jesus, be forever blest.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

Thou wast their rock, their fortress, and their might;
thou Lord, their captain in the well-fought fight;
thou in the darkness Lord, the one true light.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

The golden evening brightens in the west;
Soon to faithful warriors cometh rest
and sweet the calm of Paradise the blessed.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

But lo! there breaks a yet more glorious day;
the Saints triumphant rise in bright array;
the King of Glory passes on His way,
Alleluia, Alleluia!


The early Christians preserved the Hebrew word Halleluya as a superlative expression of thanksgiving, joy, and triumph, usually preceding and following important sections of Christian liturgy. Randall Thompson (1899-1984) demonstrated the word could, and perhaps should, easily stand alone. He composed his one-word anthem over four days in 1940 for the opening of the new Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood. It is remarkable for its simplicity of intent and lushness of harmony and melodic movement.


Mary the Blessed Virgin
The Blessed Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus, is one of the most revered saints in the lexicon. The history of the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus Christ, can be found in the texts of the Gospels, but embellishments to her legend seem to have taken form in the fifth century in Syria. According to those legends, the life of the mother of Christ was exceptional. She was born free of original sin and she was taken to heaven after her death. Theologians established a parallel between Christ’s Passion and the Virgin’s compassion. While he suffered physically on the cross, she was crucified in spirit. The Council of Ephesus in 431 sanctioned the cult of the Virgin as Mother of God and the composition and dissemination of music glorifying the Virgin and Child, which came to embody church doctrine, soon followed.

Warren Massey (b.1931) arranged “Most Highly Favored Lady” for Octarium in 2004. A finely-composed telling of the Gabriel story, the beginning of Mary’s story, Massey’s arrangement of the old Basque carol has become one of Octarium’s favorite pieces.

Of Mary, the Christ was born,
In Bethlehem on Christmas morn,
A blessed mother she became.
All generations laud her name,
Most highly favored lady. Gloria.

The angel Gabriel from heaven came,
His wings as drifted snow, his eyes as flame;
“All hail,” said he, “thou lowly maiden Mary,
Most highly favored lady.” Gloria.

“For know a blessed mother thou shalt be.”
“A blessed mother I shall be?”
“All generations laud and honor thee.”
“All generations honor me?”
“Thy son shall be Emmanuel, by seers foretold,
Most highly favored lady.” Gloria.

Then gentle Mary meekly bowed her head,
“To me be as it pleaseth God,” she said.
“My soul shall laud and magnify His holy name.”
Most highly favored lady. Gloria.

Of her, Emmanuel, the Christ, was born
In Bethlehem, all on a Christmas morn,
And Christian folk throughout the world will ever say,
“Most highly favored lady. Gloria!”

J. Mark Dunn’s (b. 1966) simple setting of an old medieval text skillfully bridges 20th century harmonies with the texts and melodies of the middle ages. In the second verse, the tenors sing the main text while the altos sing a complementary counterpoint to a different Latin text. Of the piece, written with a dedication to Jeff Zerr, who died of AIDS, Dunn writes “Jeff had a lovely baritone voice and the last concert he sang before he died featured him as soloist on a setting of the Scottish folk tune “My Love is like a Red, Red Rose.” While preparing music for Jeff’s memorial service I remembered a lovely text, which had as its burden “Of a Rose a Lovely Rose.” The text haunted me both as a lovely piece of Marian poetry and as reminder of Jeff singing on his final concert, so I set it in honor of him.”

Of a Rose, a Lovely Rose
Of a Rose is all my song

Listen nobles old and young
How this Rose at outset sprung;
In all this world I know of none
I so desire as that fair Rose.

The Angel Came from Heaven’s tower
To honour Mary in her bower
And said that she should bear the Flower
To break the Devil’s Chain of woe.

Misus est Gabriel Angelus ad mariam virginem desponsatam Joseph.
[Send the angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary who is betrothed to Joseph.]

By that Ave quoth Gabriel
Unbound is man from Eva’s fell
That henceforth we in heaven might dwell
Blessed be the coming of that Rose.

Victoria’s “Ave Maria” displays harmonic, melodic and metrical talent with a straight-forward setting of the well-known text; Ave Maria is the most familiar of all the prayers used by the Universal Church in honor of Mary. There is no history of the text before 1196, when a synodal decree from the Bishop of Paris made it clear that the “Salutation of the Blessed Virgin” was as known to his faithful as the Creed and the Lord’s Prayer. But the striking words of the Angel’s salutation to Mary were most likely adopted by the faithful as soon as personal devotion to the Mother of God manifested itself in the Church.

Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you.
Benedicta tu in mulieribus
You are blessed among women
et benedictus fructus ventris tui: Jesus.
and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
Sancta Maria, mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus
Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners
nunc et in hora mortis nostrae.
now and in the hour of our death.


Faith, Hope and Charity
Faith, Hope and Charity are names of the members of two groups of Roman martyrs. In the reign of Hadrian, a Roman matron Sophia (Wisdom), with her three youthful daughters, Pistis, Elpis, and Agape (Faith, Hope and Charity), underwent martyrdom for the Faith, and were interred on the Aurelian Way. Later, another band of martyrs, Sapientia (Wisdom) and her three companions, Spes, Fides and Caritas (Hope, Faith and Charity), suffered death while professing their faith and were buried near the tomb of St. Cecilia in the cemetery of St. Callistus on the Appian Way. Although there is much speculation concerning the truth of the two legends, the church celebrates a feast in honor of Faith, Hope and Charity on August 1. Although the text of “Ubi Caritas” was not specifically written with these saints in mind (the text is from the antiphons sung during the ceremony of the Washing of the Feet at the Mass of the Last Supper on Maundy Thursday) it can be considered a tribute to the virtues the women embodied. Both settings of the text on this program use a Gregorian chant melody as its base. Maurice Duruflé’s (1902-1986) setting, from his Quatre Motets sur des Thèmes Grégoriens, is a supreme example of how the beauty of plainsong chant can be increased when lush harmonies are added. R. Douglas Helvering’s setting makes use of the chant melody in its original form, as well as a rhythmically altered form. Helvering also makes use of part of the English translation of the Latin text to further convey and emphasize the deep meaning of the text.

Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est.
Where charity and love are, God is there.
Congregavit nos in unum Christi amor.
Christ’s love has gathered us into one.
Exultemus, et in ipso iucundemur.
Let us rejoice and be pleased in Him.
Timeamus, et amemus Deum vivum.
Let us fear, and let us love the living God.
Et ex corde diligamus nos sincero.
And may we love each other with a sincere heart.


St. Valentine
At least three different Saint Valentines, all of them martyrs, are mentioned in the early martyrologies under date of 14 February. One is described as a priest at Rome, another as bishop of Interamna (modern Terni), and the third suffered in Africa with a number of companions. The popular customs associated with Saint Valentine’s Day undoubtedly had their origin in a conventional belief generally received in England and France during the Middle Ages, that on 14 February, or half way through the second month of the year, the birds began to pair. According to Chaucer’s Parliament of Foules:

For this was sent on Seynt Valentyne’s day
Whan every foul cometh ther to choose his mate.

For this reason the day is looked upon as specially consecrated to lovers and continues to be so in modern times.

“Rise up my love, my fair one” is a biblical text from the Song of Songs, or Song of Solomon. This particular book of the bible has been the target of much controversy as its verses are the stuff of human eroticism and love. Three voices are distinguishable in the Song: a male lover, a female lover, and an independent group of observers called the daughters of Jerusalem. Song of Songs has had a speckled history and barely found a place in the biblical canon because the transparently provocative nature of the language, as well as the fact that the book never makes reference to God, scandalized many early readers. The book was accepted into the canon only after rabbis viewed it as an allegory of the relationship between Yahweh and the people of Israel. Christians tend to interpret the book as an allegory describing the love between Christ and the Christian church. Healey Willan (1880-1968) uses the following text in the Christian tradition, grouping this piece with two others and entitling them Motets in honor or Our Lady, the Blessed Virgin Mary. Most often used liturgically on Easter morning, this motet is seen as a description of Christ’s resurrection. Regardless of its origin and meaning, the text is, at its most transparent, a description of love overcoming adversity, making it a powerful statement on the strength of love, in whatever form it takes.

Rise up my love, my fair one, and come away.
For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone.
The flowers appear upon the earth.
The time of the singing of birds is come.
Arise my love, my fair one, and come away.

“For Thy Sweet Love,” a setting of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 24 by Robert H. Young (b. 1932) highlights the changing mood of the author, a person so desperately in love that he is capable of going from despair to ascendant happiness in fourteen lines.

When in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself, and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possess’d,
Desiring this man’s art, and that man’s scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee; and then my state,
Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven’s gate;
For thy sweet love remember’d such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.




St. Cecilia
Cecilia, whose feastday is November 22 and who is glorified in the fine arts and in poetry, is one of the most venerated martyrs of Christian antiquity. About the middle of the fifth century a pious romance regarding Cecilia emerged; Cecilia, a virgin of a senatorial family and a Christian from her infancy, was given in marriage by her parents to a noble pagan youth Valerianus. When, after the celebration of the marriage, the couple had retired to the wedding-chamber, Cecilia told Valerianus that she was betrothed to an angel who jealously guarded her body; therefore Valerianus must take care not to violate her virginity. Valerianus wished to see the angel, whereupon Cecilia sent him to the third milestone on the Via Appia where he should meet Bishop (Pope) Urbanus. Valerianus obeyed, was baptized by the pope, and returned a Christian to Cecilia. After a glorious profession of faith, she was condemned to be suffocated in the bath of her own house. She did not suffocate and was condemned to beheading instead. The executioner let his sword fall three times without separating her head from her body, so he fled, leaving the virgin bathed in her own blood. She lived for three more days, during which time she made dispositions in favor of the poor, and provided that after her death her house should be dedicated as a church.

Benjamin Britten was born on St. Cecilia’s Day in 1913 so it seems natural that he composed a work in honor of the Saint with whom he shared his birthday. In 1940 Britten found a text, three odes in honor of St. Cecilia penned by W.H. Auden, which inspired him to compose the work. Composed during a sea voyage from the United States to England in 1942, Hymn to St. Cecilia falls into three sections each ending with a refrain in the form of a musicians’ prayer to their patron for inspiration. The first section tells the legend of Saint Cecilia, with some reference also to non-Christian mythology, while the second is a self-definition of music as personified by the saint. In the final section a prayer for music to bring order to a chaotic world is answered by a call to accept things as they are. In this section four musical instruments are represented by voices. They symbolize sin, social order, sorrow and divine leadership.


In a garden shady this holy lady
With reverent cadence and subtle psalm,
Like a black swan as death came on
Poured forth her song in perfect calm:
And by ocean’s margin this innocent virgin
Constructed an organ to enlarge her prayer,
And notes tremendous from her great engine
Thundered out on the Roman air.
Blonde Aphrodite rose up excited,
Moved to delight by the melody,
White as an orchid she rode quite naked
In an oyster shell on top of the sea;
At sounds so entrancing the angels dancing
Came out of their trance into time again,
And around the wicked in Hell’s abysses
The huge flame flickered and eased their pain.
Blessed Cecilia, appear in visions
To all musicians, appear and inspire:
Translated Daughter, come down and startle
Composing mortals with immortal fire.


I cannot grow;
I have no shadow
To run away from,
I only play.
I cannot err;
There is no creature
Whom I belong to,
Whom I could wrong.
I am defeat
When it knows it
Can now do nothing
By suffering.
All you lived through,
Dancing because you
No longer need it
For any deed.
I shall never be Different. Love me.
Blessed Cecilia, appear in visions
To all musicians, appear and inspire:
Translated Daughter, come down and startle
Composing mortals with immortal fire.


O ear whose creatures cannot wish to fall,
O calm of spaces unafraid of weight,
Where Sorrow is herself, forgetting all
The gaucheness of her adolescent state,
Where Hope within the altogether strange
From every outworn image is released,
And Dread born whole and normal like a beast
Into a world of truths that never change:
Restore our fallen day; O re-arrange.
O dear white children casual as birds,
Playing among the ruined languages,
So small beside their large confusing words,
So gay against the greater silences
Of dreadful things you did: O hang the head,
Impetuous child with the tremendous brain,
O weep, child, weep, O weep away the stain,
Lost innocence who wished your lover dead,
Weep for the lives your wishes never led.
O cry created as the bow of sin Is drawn across our trembling violin.
O weep, child, weep, O weep away the stain.
O law drummed out by hearts against the still
Long winter of our intellectual will.
That what has been may never be again.
O flute that throbs with the thanksgiving breath
Of convalescents on the shores of death.
O bless the freedom that you never chose.
O trumpets that unguarded children blow
About the fortress of their inner foe.
O wear your tribulation like a rose.
Blessed Cecilia, appear in visions
To all musicians, appear and inspire:
Translated Daughter, come down and startle
Composing mortals with immortal fire.


Lloyd Pfautsch (1921-2003) was a professor of sacred music and director of choral activities from the faculty of the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, where he had taught since 1958. “Consecrate the Place and Day” is one of the three pieces that make up Triptych, composed in 1969 for the dedication of the State College of Arkansas’ Fine Arts Center.

Consecrate the place and day
To music and Cecelia
Let no rough winds approach nor dare
Invade the hallowed bounds,
Nor rudely shake the tuneful air,
Nor spoil the fleeting, fleeting sounds.
Nor mournful sigh nor groan be heard,
But gladness dwell on every tongue:
Whilst all, with voice and strings prepared,
Keep up the loud harmonious song.
And imitate the blest above in joy and harmony.

An Angel is a heavenly being; a pure spirit created by God. The name applies to certain spiritual beings or intelligences of heavenly residence, employed by God as the ministers of His will. The English word “angel” comes from the Greek angelos, which means ‘messenger.’ Therefore angels are often regarded as messengers who work for God and for the ultimate benefit of mankind.  There are nine choirs of Angels: Seraphim are the highest order or choir of angels. They are the angels who are attendants or guardians before God’s throne and praise God, calling, “Holy Holy Holy is the Lord of Hosts”. Seraphim have six wings, two cover their faces, two cover their feet, and two are for flying. Cherubim rank after the seraphim and are the second highest in the nine hierarchies or choirs of angels. They are manlike in appearance and double-winged, symbolizing God’s power and mobility. Thrones are the Angels of pure Humility, Peace and Submission. They reside in the area of the cosmos where material form begins to take shape.  The lower choirs of Angels need the Thrones to access God. Dominions are Angels of
Leadership. They regulate the duties of the angels, making known the commands of God.  Virtues are known as the Spirits of Motion and control the elements. They are sometimes referred to as “the shining ones.” They govern all nature and have control over seasons, stars, moon and even the sun. They are also in charge of miracles and provide courage, grace, and valor. Powers are Warrior Angels against evil, defending the cosmos and humans. They are known as potentates and fight against evil spirits who attempt to wreak chaos through human beings. Archangels are the chief or leading angels. They are the most frequently mentioned
throughout the Bible. The Archangels have a unique role as God’s messenger to the people at critical times in history and salvation as in The Annunciation and Apocalypse. Principalities are spiritual (metaphysical) beings that are hostile to God and human beings. Because they are hostile, Christ’s ultimate rule over them expresses the reign of the Lord over all in the cosmos.
Angels are closest to the material world and to human begins. They deliver the prayers to God and God’s answers and other messages to humans.

The “Sanctus” is a section of the Mass; the fourth musical movement of the Ordinary, the parts of the Roman Catholic Mass that remain the same from day to day throughout the church year,
as distinct from the Proper, which changes daily according to the liturgical occasion. In the original Latin, the text is as follows:

Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus, Dominus Deus Sabaoth.
Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts.
Pleni sunt coeli et terra gloria tua.
Heaven and earth are full of Thy glory.
Osanna in excelsis.
Hosanna in the highest.

Often, a Sanctus is followed directly by a “Benedictus,” frequently without a break in the music.

Benedictus qui venit
Blessed is He that cometh
in nomine Domini.
in the name of the Lord.
Osanna in excelsis.
Hosanna in the highest.

A Sanctus, then, with its main text of “Holy, Holy, Holy” is music of the seraphim. In the Anglican Book of Common Prayer the Sanctus and Benedictus are preceded by the text “Therefore with Angels and Archangels, and with all the company of heaven, we laud and magnify thy glorious Name; evermore praising thee, and saying. . .,” thus allowing congregants to join their voices in the unending hymn of the seraphim.


William Byrd (c. 1539-1623) was an organist and member of protestant Elizabeth I’s private religious establishment, the Chapel Royal. Despite his service to the queen, he remained throughout his life a dedicated Roman Catholic. The queen, apparently out of love for him and his music, tended to turn a blind eye and Byrd was never seriously threatened for his faith and beliefs. He wrote several setting of the Ordinary of the Mass, one of the most famous of which is the Mass for Four Voices.

The early history of Antonio Lotti (1667-1740) is a tad fuzzy and there are differing opinions on whether he was of Italian or German birth. He spent most of his career in Italy, however, holding the position of Maestro di Cappella (Master of the Chapel) at St. Mark’s Cathedral in Venice, a post that helped Andrea Gabrieli and Claudio Monteverdi cement their places in musical history. Although Lotti wrote numerous operas, he is best remembered for his sacred music.


Franz Schubert (1797-1828) wrote his Deutsche Messe (D. 872) in 1827 just one year before disease ended his life. It is his most famous mass and is excerpted in the Episcopalian 1982 Hymnal.


Heilig, heilig, heilig, heilig ist der Herr!
Holy, holy, holy, holy is the Lord!
Heilig, heilig, heilig, heilig ist nur er,
Holy, holy, holy; He alone is holy,
Er, der nie begonnen, er der immer war,
He who has no beginning, He who always was,
ewig ist und waltet, sein wird immerdar.
His reign and being is eternal, He shall be forever and ever.
Allmacht, Wunder, Liebe, alles rings umher!
Power, wonder, love is all around!
Heilig, heilig, heilig, heilig ist der Herr!
Holy, holy, holy, holy is the Lord.


Angels are mentioned in many songs. But not so many mention the ranks and orders of angels. The text of Edward Bairstow’s (1874-1946) anthem “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence” is taken from the orthodox Liturgy of St. James, and is rife with theological poetry. Composed in 1925, Bairstow’s setting captures the mysticism and the celebration intent in the text.

Let all mortal flesh keep silence,
and stand with fear and trembling,
and lift itself above all earthly thought.
For the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Christ our God,
cometh forth to be our oblation,
and to be given for food to the faithful.
Before him come the choirs of angels,
with every principality and power;
the Cherubim with many eyes, and winged Seraphim,
who veil their faces as they shout exultantly the hymn,