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Alma Redemptoris Mater By: Stephen McManus
Alma Redemptoris Mater by Stephen McManus


 
By: Stephen McManus
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One of four Marian antiphons is traditionally sung as the conclusion of Compline (Night Prayer). They are:

   * Alma Redmptoris Mater ? for Advent and Christmastide (sometimes extended to Feb.2)
   * Ave Regina c?lorum ? for Lent
   * Regina c?li l?tare ? for Eastertide
   * Salve Regina ? for Ordinary Time

These are often sung in their chant settings, but composers from Palestrina to the present day have set them for SATB choirs to sing.

Stephen McManus uses the traditional Latin text for this classic motet. It is organized over an eight-measure ground (a repeated pattern in the bass). The organ pedal begins, with the voices gradually entering: A, S, T, B.

Two treble instruments add color to the full ensemble. The composer indicates flute and oboe, but the range and characteristics would allow almost any treble instruments to participate (violins, recorders, transposed clarinet). The texture alternates between polyphonic and homophonic. Vocal and instrumental parts are not difficult.

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