Three Motets

for SSAATTBB choir with solos

Martin Bussey

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for SSAATTBB choir with solos

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Composer Martin Bussey
Year of Composition 1990
Duration 15'30"
ISMN 9790570683307
Student Difficulty adv
Categories (all composers) , ,
Catalogue ID ce-mb2tm1


This group of a capella pieces was commissioned by the Oriel Singers of Liverpool in 1990. The three poems complement each other but are not interlinked.

Oscar Wilde’s Ave Maria combines Christian themes with images from Classical mythology in a rich text, mirrored in added note harmonies and a rhetorical setting.

The Evening Hymn of Charles 1 is probably by 17th century poet Francis Quarles. The setting complements the homophonic writing of much of Ave Maria by using interweaving melodic lines for each of the four SATB parts, adding two soprano soloists when the opening phrases return to end the work.

Francis Thompson’s In no strange land represents a view of belief and of the numinous which lies at the heart of the composer’s spiritual core. The concept that deity is present, but unseen in everyday life evokes a dramatic and highly-charged piece of choral writing dividing the SATB choir into many parts. This is used to communicate the poverty and uncertainty that the poet experienced as a ‘down and out’ in London but also the poignant image that concludes the work of ‘Christ walking on the water, not of Gennesareth, but Thames’.