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Dum transisset Sabbatum

March 31, 2013

B005QE4ALA.01-A17SFUTIVB227Z._SX420_SCLZZZZZZZ_V389252188_-1HAVING previously posted Alamire’s incomplete recording of this, John Taverner‘s Easter masterpiece, we post the full recording, below. It is incomparably haunting, and its soaring part writing transports the listener to that first Easter, very early in the morning, the sun cresting the horizon beyond the empty tomb. As we have said: if it does not give you chills, you are not listening.

Dum transisset Sabbatum Maria Magdalene et Maria Jacobi et Salome emerunt aromata, ut venientes ungerent Jesum, alleluia. Et valde mane una sabbatorum veniunt ad monumentum orto jam sole. Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto.

And when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene and Mary [the mother of] James, and Salome brought spices, that coming they might anoint Jesus, alleluia. And very early the first of the Sabbath, they came to the monument, the sun being now risen. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. [Mark 16:1-2]

3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 4, 2013 21:08

    I had forgotten that I have a recording of this somewhere. I also very much like the Tallis setting which is considerably less ecstatic but beautiful in its own way–and less likely to cause me to wreck the car if it comes on the radio. Unfortunately it is not so readily accessible to be played.

    • April 8, 2013 12:32

      Alamire has recorded the Tallis setting as well, on their really terrific Byrd/Tallis double album (here). I think you’re right about both the ecstasy of the Taverner and the quality of the Tallis. The latter has an appealing intensity and focus, which makes sense: the Cantiones Sacrae were written for small choirs of Catholics singing in private, fearing persecution, so the included works have an intimate quality born of both a kind setting that Taverner wasn’t writing for and a kind of urgency that he wouldn’t have felt.

      Thanks for mentioning. I’m feeling the need for that Tallis/Byrd album, and the Tallis setting really deserves some attention.


  1. Dum transisset Sabbatum, II | Sed Angli.

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