Octavo of the Month (March 2007)
Mike Walag, ICDA High School R&S Chair
Cordero de Dios (Agnus Dei)
Alliance Music Publication
SATB, opt. soprano solo, and harp or piano
This is a piece I discovered in a High School Reading Session at a National ACDA convention in 2001 (San Antonio). It has a strong Latin American flavor in its harmonies and in it’s voice leading.
The Spanish translation of the Agnus Dei is very beautifully set to a melody that rises and falls in triple meter with dotted rhythms and mild harmonic suspensions underneath. Soprano and tenor parts are partnered against the alto/bass in a sort of call and response style. Metrical interest is enhanced by duplet rhythms against triplets, sixteenth note pick-ups, and occasional 4-beat measures alternating with the triple meter.
This is a relatively easy piece for introducing a foreign language text, for teaching rhythmic indendence (through count-singing), and for teaching arch-phrasing and syllabic stress. It would also measure up as a contest piece.
Check out other pieces by this composer at Alliance Music Publications, PO Box 131977, Houston, TX., 77219-1977