Sicut te turbe

Another week goes by and we are still here. The change in the weather over the last couple of days has been a bit extreme. It should have been the Gate to Southwelll Festival this weekend, they would have been cursing.

Two different things for you this week. 
Firstly Sicut Cervus by Palestrina. (European Sacred Music p. 270). You will also need this analysis sheet. Video playlist.

Read John Rutter’s note at the bottom of p.374 then listen to his performance of this edition with the Cambridge Singers.

The words:
Sicut cervus desiderat ad fontes aquarum, ita desiderat anima mea ad te, Deus. Like as the hart desireth the water-brooks: so longeth my soul after thee, O God.

This motet is an absolute gem, fitting the words perfectly. I want to show you some of the skill that Palestrina uses in this piece. Bear in mind that the original singers would only have the notation of their own line in front of them.

The more that I examine Sicut cervus the more I find. The rather crude yellow, green and red scribble is a diagram of the polyphony of the first 23 bars.

Now watch the video. Then sing along with the Cambridge Singers.

Second thing: I have made a very primitive multi-tracked version of Nada te turbe for us to have some fun with.
There is a full version and four versions each with a part missing. You can sing with the full version or put in the relevant missing part. You can just sing for fun or to practice …….but……I would like to replace my voice in the recording with yours, especially sopranos but I am not proud of the other parts either. Listen to the recording through headphones (on high volume); record yourself singing on a computer, tablet or phone and send the recording to me (audio or video but the final version will be audio). I suggest that you don’t listen to the recording, you won’t like the sound of your unaccompanied, solo voice.
Nada te turbe audio files:
Full: Soprano: Alto: TenorBass:

Have fun, and let’s see how it sounds – it must be an improvement!


Keep safe, keep singing.

1 thought on “Sicut te turbe

  1. Thank you for continuing to send us videos and you tubes which I enjoy rather than doing things which I ought to do. There is no help in me!

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