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More Polyphonic Propers: Audi filia and Assumpta est

August 15, 2012

For this year’s feast of the Assumption, here are polyphonic settings of the Gradual and Alleluia which I composed in 2009.  The recording below is from my composition recital of this spring; the singers are fellow students from college.

Gradual: Audi filia & Alleluia: Assumpta est (click to play mp3)




Audi, filia, et vide, et inclina aurem tuam: et concupiscet rex pulchritudinem tuam. Vs. Tota decora ingreditur filia regis, texturae aureae sunt amictus ejus.

(Ps. 44. 11-12, 14.)

Hearken, O daughter and see, and incline thy ear.  And the king shall greatly desire thy beauty. Vs. The daughter of the king comes in, all beautiful: her robes are of gold cloth.


Alleluia, Alleluia. Vs. Assumpta est Maria in caelum: gaudent exercitus Angelorum. Alleluia.


Alleluia, Alleluia. Vs. Mary is taken up into heaven: the host of Angels rejoice. Alleluia.
Notes: The gradual begins with four voices (SATB), in 2/2; however, the texture is reduced to SAT and the meter is free and chant-like for the duration of the verse.  The Bass re-enters on the final word “ejus”, since this is where the choir would come back in if the proper were chanted.

The alleluia is rather an ABA’ sort of form: the first statement of the alleluia is fugal, in 3/4 with some hemiola.  In contrast, the verse is in 2/2 and very influenced by the species-counterpoint I had been learning at that time.  The return of the alleluia is in the same style as the beginning; however, this recap used the inversion of the previous fugue-subject. The final chords of all the cadences in this piece are open fifths.

Related post: Polyphonic introit: Signum magnum or quick link to the mp3 here.

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