Caritas Dei

Czech-03772 - Pentecost Window (32174609674)

Romans 5:5b (alt.)

Caritas Dei diffusa est in cordibus nostris, alleluia:
per inhabitantem Spiritum eius in nobis, alleluia.
(God’s love has been poured into your hearts, alleluia:
Through the Holy Spirit indwelling in us, alleluia.)

Psalm 103:1
Benedic anima mea Domino et omnia a quae intra me sunt, nomini sancto eius.
(Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his Holy name.)

Here’s my SSA (with divisi) setting of the traditional Caritas Dei text, suitable for Pentecost.


And the usual PDF sheet music of Caritas_Dei, of course. You can also download this piece from CPDL. It’s under a CC by-SA license.

Thanks so much to the lovely people who keep sponsoring me to compose more music! Want to join them? Take a look at my Support page, or just leave me a tip on Ko-Fi.

Double Chant in G Major

Anglican Chant sheet music, the title is Double Chant In G Major and the composer is Kathryn Rose

It’s been a while since I wrote an Anglican chant, so here’s another. I was thinking broadly of Psalm 27 when I wrote it, but it’s in the nature of Anglican chant that it isn’t fixed to one set of words, so I present it here with no text.

There are some robots singing it (they don’t do words either):

And there’s a PDF to download.

As usual, it’s CC by-SA which means you can copy it as long as you share alike.

NORBERG — In memoriam Roy Gordon Norberg, 1944-2019

Last month, Roy Norberg died.

Roy was the father of a friend I spent many happy hours with in childhood. I can remember him making sure, when I was visiting for Christmas, that I had a performance opportunity or two; and as I got older and played more instruments and started arranging, he was supportive of my efforts in that direction. He was also an organist, you see, and a much-loved teacher; but of course I primarily knew him as “Andrea’s Dad”. Sure, I remember his playing — but more than that, I remember him and my father sitting around talking about computer stuff; I remember meeting up at all manner of coffee shops and diners where they would talk and we would talk; I remember that he was always ready to crack a joke, always exuberant and enthusiastic, always passionate about what he cared about, sometimes grandiose. I cannot remember him ever speaking an unkind word to me. The world feels smaller and colder without him in it, but I am grateful to have known him.

Meanwhile, I had been wanting to compose a hymn for the Dedication Festival at St John the Evangelist, Brownswood Park. So I set William Cowper’s words, “Jesus, where’er Thy people meet” in a modernised version, with the last line of each verse repeated:

1. Jesus, where’er your people meet,
There they behold your mercy seat;
Where’er they seek you, you are found,
And ev’ry place is hallowed ground. (x2)

2. For you, within no walls confined,
Are dwelling in the humble mind;
Such ever bring you where they come,
And going, take you to their home. (x2)

3. Dear Shepherd of your chosen few,
Your former mercies here renew;
Here to our waiting hearts proclaim
The sweetness of your saving name. (x2)

4. Here may we prove the pow’r of pray’r
To strengthen faith and sweeten care,
To teach our faint desires to rise,
And bring all heav’n before our eyes. (x2)

5. Lord, we are few, but you are near;
Nor short your arm, nor deaf your ear:
O rend the heav’ns, come quickly down,
And make a thousand hearts your own. (x2)

NORBERG melody only pdf

Singing robots:

Unfortunately, I forgot to record this when we sang it at St John’s! Another time, I hope. It seemed to go well.

As usual, this music is also available on CPDL, and it is free to download and use, on the condition that you also share your work freely. I can release music this way because of the financial support of patrons at Patreon and elsewhere. Please consider joining them if you can; if you can’t, then please boost the signal.

I sing of a maiden

All Saints, Bridle Road, Shirley - Window - - 1898589

Here is my .PDF of “I sing of a maiden”

I sing of a maiden PDF file.

Here is the robot clarionet rendition:


I sing of a maiden that is makeless;
King of all kings to her son she ches.

He came all so still where his mother was
As dew in April that falleth on the grass:

He came all so still to his mother’s bower,
As dew in April that falleth on the flower.

He came all so still where his mother lay,
As dew in April that falleth on the spray.

Mother and maiden was never none but she:
well may such a lady God’s mother be.

As usual, this work is under a CC by-SA license, meaning you can download, sing, arrange and perform it for free, on condition that you share any derivative works: you must allow recordings, for example.

This Endris Night

St Mary's Church, Kennington, Kent - Stained Glass Nativity scene, photo by John Salmon

If you’re looking for a relatively straightforward SATB carol, you might enjoy my setting of This Endris Night:

This endris night, I saw a sight,
A star as bright as day,
And ever among this maiden sung,
Lully, by by, lullay.

1. This lovely lady sat and sang, and to her child did say,
My son, my brother, my father dear, why liest thou thus in hay?
My sweet bird, though it betide, thou not be King veray,
But nevertheless, I will not cease to sing by by lullay.

2. The Child then spake in his talking, and to his mother he said:
I bekydde am in heaven as King, in crib though I be laid;
For angels bright down to me light, thou knowst it is no nay;
And of that sight, thou mayst be light to sing by by lullay.

3. Now sweet son, since thou art King, why art thou laid in stall?
Why not ordain thy bedding in some great kingès hall?
Methink it right that king or knight should lie in good array,
And then among, it were no wrong to sing, by by, lullay.

4. Mary, mother, I am thy child, though in a manger lay,
Lords and dukes shall worship me, and so shall kingès all,
Ye shall well see that kingès three shall come on the twelfth day,
For this behest, give me thy breast, and sing by by, lullay, lullay.

5. Now, sweet son, since it is so, all things are at thy will,
I pray thee, grant to me a boon, if it be right and skill,
That child or man that will or can be merry upon my day,
To bliss them bring, and I shall sing lully, by by, lullay.

This endris night, I saw a sight,
A star as bright as day,
And ever among this maiden sung,
Lully, by by, lullay.

Here are the usual robotic flutes:

This Endris Night PDF

As usual, this is under a CC by-SA license, so you can use it for free, on condition that you also share freely any derivative works (including recordings).

I am able to put this music online because of a community of supporters. If you’d like to be part of that community then please consider supporting me — even if all you can spare is a small amount, it makes a big difference to me when it adds up! If you’re already contributing, then please be assured of my thanks.

Good Friday

West window of St Mary's, Upton, Merseyside

Here’s my setting of ‘Good Friday’ by Christina Rossetti:

Am I a stone and not a sheep
That I can stand, O Christ, beneath Thy Cross,
To number drop by drop Thy Blood’s slow loss,
And yet not weep?

Not so those women loved
Who with exceeding grief lamented Thee;
Not so fallen Peter weeping bitterly;
Not so the thief was moved;

Not so the Sun and Moon
Which hid their faces in a starless sky,
A horror of great darkness at broad noon—
I, only I.

Yet give not o’er,
But seek Thy sheep, true Shepherd of the flock;
Greater than Moses, turn and look once more
And smite a rock.

There is a PDF of the score here or from the ChoralWiki; and this is, as usual, under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike license. That means you can have the score for free, make copies for free, perform it for free, and so on, but if you want to prevent people making copies of your arrangements, recordings or similar, you need to get in touch with me to negotiate other terms.

This is another movement from my Stations of the Cross.

The Passion

Francesco di Giorgio, Disrobing of Christ

I chose this poem by George Herbert for Station X in my Stations of the Cross, “Jesus is Stripped”. To have our clothing removed, particularly forcibly, is so vulnerable; but in asking Jesus to fill the emptiness of his heart and drive out sin, Herbert mirrors that vulnerability. Or so it seems to me, anyway…

The Passion

Since blood is fittest, Lord, to write
Thy sorrows in, and bloody fight;
My heart hath store; write there, where in
One box doth lie both ink and sin:

That when sin spies so many foes,
Thy whips, thy nails, thy wounds, thy woes,
All come to lodge there, sin may say,
No room for me, and fly away.

Sin being gone, oh fill the place,
And keep possession with thy grace;
Lest sin take courage and return,
And all the writings blot or burn.

My SATB setting of The Passion in PDF format.

As usual, this is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike license. That last bit means that you can print and photocopy and perform and record to your heart’s content: but you must also allow others to copy any derivative works under the same license. So none of this business of making a recording and then telling me it’s “not for public download,” as a number of choirs have now done: if you don’t want to abide by the terms of the license, then you’ll need to either pay me, or not sing my stuff. That’s the deal. That’s how it works.

Meanwhile, though: I do intend to keep putting my music online under CC by-SA. The occasional choir that doesn’t understand how the license works is a small annoyance compared to my feeling that music, and especially choral music, should be as freely available as possible. So if you’re one of my lovely supporters, thanks so much for making that possible! And if you’re not, and you’d like to help me keep composing and keep making my music available online, do have a look at the various options to support me.

Ave Verum Corpus

Andrea Solario - Lamentation over the Dead Christ - WGA21603

Here is my setting of the Ave Verum Corpus:

Ave Verum Corpus PDF file

Ave, verum corpus
natum de Maria Virgine:
vere passum, immolatum
in cruce pro homine:
cuius latus perforatum
unda fluxit sanguine:
esto nobis praegustatum,
in mortis examine.
O dulcis, O pie, O Jesu, Fili Mariae.
Miserere mei. Amen.

In English:
Hail the true body,
born of the Virgin Mary:
You who truly suffered and were sacrificed
on the cross for the sake of man.
From whose pierced flank
flowed water and blood:
Be a foretaste for us
in the trial of death.
O sweet, O merciful, O Jesus, Son of Mary.
Have mercy on me. Amen.

I meant to post this for Corpus Christi, but ended up working on something else then.

As usual, this is licensed under CC BY SA and I can do that because of my kind supporters. Thank you so much!

Faithful Cross

Light through a stained glass window, cross, wall of the Marmor (Frederiks) Kirke Copenhagen Denmark

Here’s another movement from my Stations of the Cross — not really suitable for today’s feast of Ascension, but I didn’t want to wait until Holy Cross Day to post it.

Eventually I’ll do a Latin setting of this text. In the meantime, this SATB a cappella version is richer in texture than my SA and organ setting from 2010.

Faithful Cross, above all other,
One and only noble tree:
None in foliage, none in blossom,
None in fruit thy peer may be.
Sweetest wood and sweetest iron,
Sweetest weight is hung on thee!

Faithful Cross PDF

As usual, this is licensed under a CC by-SA license, which means you can copy it and sing it for free. You can download the PDF from CPDL too.

Many thanks to my supporters and patrons who make it possible for me to share this music for free; if you would like to join them, either in a regular monthly donation, a per-piece sponsorship or as a one-off, please have a look at my Support page to find an option that works for you.