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  • Writer's pictureMitchell Covington

Hodie Christus Natus Est

This blog is generously sponsored by

Voci Women's Vocal Ensemble (Oakland, CA)

"Dedicated to promoting music for women's voices."

In this season of social distancing, I'm offering a series of virtual micro-concerts for anyone to enjoy. On the first Wednesday of every month, I’ll post one fine performance of notable choral music for women’s voices. The selections and performing groups will be varied and eclectic. Most will be in the 3-5 minute range. Each post will include an audio recording, brief notes, text & translation and, when practical, a PDF copy of the score in case you want to follow along.

About the Music

I’m presenting a second wonderful piece by Palestrina this month. This is a good contrast from the Magnificat we listened to last month. Hodie Chistus natus est is mostly homophonic and vertical as opposed to the linear, contrapuntal and imitative Magnificat. This piece is also more celebratory, almost boisterous compared to the sedate and sublime Magnificat. Finally, whereas the Magnificat is through-composed, this piece has a clear structure that includes a repeating dance-like refrain.

About the Composer

Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (c. 1525 – 1594) lived and composed toward the end of the renaissance period and was a master of the polyphonic style that characterized that musical era. His music displays beauty, elegance and fluency unrivaled by other composers of that style with the possible exception of Victoria. Palestrina had a long-lasting influence on the development of church and secular music in Europe, especially on the development of counterpoint, and his work is considered the culmination of Renaissance polyphony.

Listen to the music here

Text and Translation

Hodie Christus natus est hodie Salvator apparuit: hodie in terra canunt Angeli, laetantur Archangeli: hodie exsultant justi, dicentes: Gloria in excelsis Deo. Alleluja.

Today is Christ born; today the Savior of the world has appeared; today the Angels sing, the Archangels rejoice; today the righteous rejoice, saying: Glory to God in the highest. Alleluia!

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Mitchell Covington is an award-winning composer and conductor who lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is a frequent adjudicator for choir competitions and festivals and has led choir tours and festivals throughout Europe. Mr. Covington has several choral compositions in print with major U.S publishers and his music has been performed by choirs throughout the U.S and Europe. Mr. Covington is the Founding Artistic Director of Voci Women's Vocal Ensemble.

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