This setting of “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” sets all seven verses of the hymn modulating into four keys while passing the melody from voice to voice before finally concluding with several sudden and surprising key changes that lead to what I call a “Picardy third on steroids” (i.e. a major chord built on the altered note of the E minor Picardy third). This motet is available with the standard English translation as well as with the original Latin text and a version with only solfege syllables for pedagogical purposes. The English version provides the option of singing Latin on the Refrain. It is the first of Three Motets on Latin Christmas Hymns and is dedicated to the American Kantorei of St. Louis, Missouri who this season are celebrating 20 years of Bach at the Sem concert at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis.
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