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Septem Verba Christi in Cruce (2008) for SATB a cappella chorus

By Thomas Oboe Lee

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Septem Verba Christi in Cruce (2008) for SATB a cappella chorus composed by Thomas Oboe Lee. For Choral. Baroque Period, Classical Period, Romantic Period, 20th Century, 21st Century. Advanced Intermediate. Score. Published by Thomas Oboe Lee (S0.10004).

Program note: A former student of mine at Boston College contacted me this summer and asked if I would be interested in writing a choral work for her group in the Berkshires. I was at the time completing the orchestration of my Symphony No. 7 … Roman Holidays, and so was ready to do something new and different from a purely instrumental work. Having been raised a Catholic and educated at parochial schools when I was a child in Hong Kong, and also bearing in mind the fact that I now teach at a Jesuit institution, Boston College, the idea of the passion of Christ is always in the back of my mind. As a matter of fact, I have always found religious choral music to be the ideal and most transcendent way to communicate God’s words. The Seven Last Words of Christ has been done in a musical setting most famously by Franz Joseph Haydn in a wordless string quartet. Other settings include those by Heinrich Schütz, César Franck, Sofia Gubaidulina, and James McMillan. Portion of the text could also be found in the sublime St. John Passion by Johann Sebastian Bach and Passio by the contemporary Estonian composer, Arvo Pärt. The complete text in Latin of Septem Verba Christi in Cruce follows. 1. Pater, dimitte illis, quia nesciunt, quid faciunt. (Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.) 2. Hodie mecum eris in Paradiso. (This day thou shalt be with me in Paradise.) 3. Mulier, ecce filius tuus. (Woman, behold thy son.) 4. Deus meus, Deus meus, utquid dereliquisti me? (My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?) 5. Sitio. (I thirst.) 6. Consummatum est. (It is finished.) 7. In manus tuas, Domine, commendo spiritum meum. (Into thine hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.) This work is dedicated to my mother.

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