Spells, Remedies & Potions

three motets for sopranos

Camden Reeves

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three motets for sopranos

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Composer Camden Reeves
Composer

Year of Composition

Instrumentation

Duration

ca. 15'

Student Difficulty

Categories (all composers) ,
Catalogue ID ce-cr2srp1

Notes

I – ‘Spells’
II – ‘Remedies’
III – ‘Potions’

These three motets for sopranos were completed in 2017. They set my own texts, which I have freely adapted from the Malleus Maleficarum of 1487 by Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger (in the English translation by the Reverend Montague Summers of 1928). Literally ‘The Hammer of the Witches’, this bizarre theological and legal treatise outlines methods for the identification, trial, interrogation and execution of witches.

These three motets may be performed individually or as a set.

Forces:

Motets I and II are in two parts. Motet III is in five parts. Individual or doubled voices may be used, but the solo soprano in III should always be a single voice.

If performed as a set, this will require an odd number of voices. Excluding the solo part in III, if doubled voices are used for the remaining parts, these should be employed evenly throughout the three motets. For example:

– If 5 sopranos are used, 1 would be reserved for the solo in III (singing only that part), with the remaining 4 sopranos distributed as 2+2 for I and II, and 1+1+1+1 in III.

– If 9 sopranos are used, 1 would be reserved for the solo in III (singing only that part), with the remaining 8 sopranos distributed as 4+4 for I and II, and 2+2+2+2 for movement III.

– If 13 sopranos are used (the ideal in terms of symbolism), 1 would be reserved for the solo in III (singing only that part), with the remaining 12 sopranos distributed as 6+6 in I and II, and 3+3+3+3 in III.