Roman Breviary, Acts 2: 2,4 (L)
Choral level of difficulty: Level 2 (5 greatest)
In writing the Strathclyde Motets MacMillan set out to write a series of communion motets of only moderate difficulty, which would be of real and lasting use for average church or concert choirs. Aware that much of his choral music to date could be too challenging for average use, these new motets provide a very welcome opportunity for almost any choir of reasonable attainment and ambition to sing some contemporary music of real value.
The opening of Factus est repente is set up to sound like an outburst of bagpipe music with drone and highly decorated melody which is much in the style of the other motets in this series. The decorated melismatic writing which follows in other parts needs some careful handling. These moments of choral outburst are beautifully interspersed by more straightforward, gentle music, and the whole motet ends with a sublime ‘alleluia’.
Repertoire note by Paul Spicer