Audivi Vocem De Caelo

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I happened across this piece on one of my Pandora stations, and had to share. This setting of Audivi Vocem De Caelo was composed by Duarte Lobo, a Portugese composer who lived in the late 16th to early 17th centuries.

This motet is a short verse intended for the Office of the Dead.

Lobo creates an interesting effect with the sort of call and response, which underscores the beauty and mystery of the both the text and its musical setting. The first line, ‘I heard a voice from heaven, saying to me:’ ends with all the voices converging, (at 1:30 in the video) and then from out of the midst of that the soprano begins the response: “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord,” which is then taken up by all the voices again.

Latin:

Audivi vocem de caelo, dicentem mihi.
Baeti mortui qui in Domino moriuntur.

English:

I heard a voice from heaven, saying to me:
Blessed are the Dead who die in the Lord.

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