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Audivi vocem de caelo venientem

By John Sheppard

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SSAA choir a cappella (SSAA choir a cappella)
Composed by John Sheppard. Edited by Mitos Andaya and Simon Carrington. Octavo. Alliance Music Publications #AMP 0631. Published by Alliance Music Publications (AN.AMP-0631).

Item Number: AN.AMP-0631


Relatively little information is known about English composer John Sheppard. He served as Informator Choristarum at Magdalen College, Oxford and was a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal in the 1550s. Though he was a prolific composer of liturgical music, his works have been overshadowed by better-known English composers such as Taverner, Tallis and Byrd.

Audivi vocem de caelo venientem is the eighth respond for the Office of Matins on All Saints Day. This particular setting demonstrates Sheppard's mastery of polyphony and expressive imitation y elements that are present in much of his choral writing.

The original voicing for Sheppard's setting was for two means and two tenors; however, Renaissance musicians practiced transposition regularly to make best use of the singers available on particular occasions. This setting (transposed up a perfect 5th from the original) works well for modern SSAA ensembles and can be transposed further as needed.

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