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Peter Philips began his musical life as a chorister at St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, but fled to the continent as a Catholic exile in 1582. Following a brief period in Rome, he settled in Antwerp and then Brussels and was famous throughout the Netherlands as an organ virtuoso. Treated as an exile in English musical circles—and considered a foreigner by colleagues in his adopted country—his reputation suffered two-fold; yet his music is equal in quality to any composer of this glorious period of musical composition, and incorporates the best of both the English and European traditions. His two most famous collections of choral music, the Sacrae cantiones of 1612 and 1613, for five and eight voices respectively, display an encyclopedic knowledge of compositional techniques. “Ecce vicit Leo” is almost entirely homophonic, utilizing stunning antiphony between the two choirs; the repeated-note figure on the words “et benedictionem” is derived from the motifs of Renaissance battle music.

lyrics

Ecce vicit Leo de tribu Iuda, radix David, aperire librum,
Et solvere septem signacula eius. Alleluia.
Dignus est Agnus, qui occisus est, accipere virtutem, et divinitatem, et sapientiam,
Et fortitudinem, et honorem, et gloriam, et benedictionem. Alleluia.

Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David, has prevailed to open the book,
and to loose the seven seals thereof. Alleluia.
Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, to receive virtue, and godhead, and wisdom,
and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing. Alleluia.

Revelation 5:5, 12

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from Spring Bursts Today: A Celebration of Eastertide, released April 20, 2014

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Harvard University Choir Cambridge, Massachusetts

For over 175 years the Harvard University Choir has provided a unique opportunity for student singers to perform choral literature at the highest level, both in concert and during the services of the Memorial Church. Its program of daily choral services, broadcasts, tours, commissions, and recordings make it one of the premier college chapel ensembles in the United States. ... more

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