Roman Breviary, Psalm 109: 3 (L)
Choral level of difficulty: Level 1 (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.
In splendoribus sanctorum is a motet of pure simplicity written in short sections which are interspersed with trumpet (or organ) obbligato passages. As the piece progresses through a number of repetitions the trumpet uses its part more freely which creates a feeling of development and progression even though the choral parts remain unvaried. It is hugely effective writing and demonstrates the fact that simple means can often deliver the strongest message. Basses with an easily produced low F are needed.
Repertoire note by Paul Spicer