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Crucifixus (2019)

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for SATB soli
& SATB chorus

As part of the liturgy of Palm Sunday, in the Church of England, the congregation join in with the reading of the Passion, taking the part of ‘the crowd.’ It was the congregation’s shouts of ‘crucify him’ from this service that acted as a catalyst for this setting of Crucifixus. 


Crucifixus etiam pro nobis; 

sub Pontio Pilato passus, 

et sepultus est. 

He was crucified also for us;

under Pontius Pilate he suffered,

and was buried.


This striking setting stands in a long line of such settings over the centuries, but holds its own and has a special approach to the words. There is a repeated ‘Crucifixus’, with distinctive rhythmic and harmonic pattern – the composer refers to the congregational shouts of ‘crucify him’ in liturgical readings of the Passion as a catalyst. At first the choir has the ‘Crucifixus’ pattern while solo voices continue with the text; then roles are reversed as choir tenors and basses describe suffering and burial. The music moves through tonalities and textures until a final long crescendo and powerful conclusion on the repeated, single-word ‘Crucifixus’.

James L. Montgomery, Church Music Quarterly, March 2022

Olivia Sparkhall

Crucifixus audioOlivia Sparkhall
00:00 / 02:59
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