Dove: Ecce Beatam Lucem SATB/div
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Ralph Allwood is well known for his influential summer choral courses at Eton College. He commissioned Dove to write an anthem for the 1997 course at Eton and Dove responded with Ecce beatam lucem, a setting of words which, in a prefatory note, Dove says were possibly written by Alessandro Striggio (1540–1592). Striggio wrote a forty-part motet setting these words which is often coupled with the more famous one by Tallis. It is an ecstatic poem in praise of light and its source from the sun, the moon and the stars which are all created by God. The music is underpinned by a series of fast-moving and constantly repeated keyboard figures on the organ as the choir moves between slower-moving lyrical phrases and quickly imitative figures thrown from voice to voice. The final section (‘O mel et dulce nectar’), in a slower, reflective mood, leads to the final beautiful bars, which Dove marks to be ‘slow and serene.’
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