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Video: The Choir sings 'Sicut Cervus' by G. P. da Palestrina

March 16, 2023


The Trinity Choir and Choristers sing Sicut Cervus by G.P. da Palestrina (1525-1594) during the Holy Eucharist service on Sun., Mar. 12.

Palestrina’s Sicut Cervus is among the best-known of his numerous works, which includes hundreds of motets, masses, and madrigals. The foremost Western composer of the 16th century, Palestrina spent much of his career in Rome, mostly as maestro di cappella at St. Peter’s — which necessitated writing many religious works. This intricate setting of Psalm 42 uses subtle word-painting to capture the soul’s striving- the ascending notes on 'desiderat' imitates the yearning that eventually resolves downward with serenity at 'fontes'. In addition, the stepwise melodic lines give the music a smooth and flowing quality, evoking the image of the 'fount' in the text. With these qualities, it is no wonder that Palestrina's polyphony went on to influence Western music-making of all kinds- ranging from Bach and Mendelssohn's works, to Anglican anthems like those of Herbert Howells, and countless college counterpoint courses.


If you know a child, age 8 and up, who loves to sing, email Colin Lynch, Interim Director of Music at clynch@trinitychurchboston.org, to learn more about the Chorister program. Or click here to download the "Join the Trinity Choristers" brochure PDF.


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