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Duo Seraphim

for triple choir

Duo Seraphim is a traditional liturgical text previously set by many other composers, most famously Monteverdi in his Vespers. It consists of two verses taken from the old and new testaments. The first, from Isaiah 6:3, presents a vision of two seraphim crying to one another, ‘Holy is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of His glory’. In the second, from 1 John 5, this is contrasted with the three-fold nature of the trinity, ‘Father, the Word and the Holy Ghost’, yet most importantly, as John ultimately asserts, ‘these three are one’.

Following this imagery, the first half of the work is sung by just two of the three choirs, and opens with two solo singers.
Upon the arrival of the word ‘three’, however, all three choirs enter in turn, and this leads to an exuberant passage in which soloists are heard across all three choirs as a depiction of the abundance and omnipresence of God. This is dramatically followed by the convergence of all the singers on an octave that expresses the fundamental unity of the trinity. 

The piece was written in fond memory of David Trendell, the former Director of the King’s College Chapel choir. David was an immensely gifted musician and teacher who gave me much encouragement as a student, and later as a colleague.

Recording available on In Memorium, performed by the Choir of King's College London with Gareth Wilson.


July - August 2015 The Choir of King's College London, Gareth Wilson, tour in Italy

3 June 2015 The Choir of King's College London, Gareth Wilson, King's College London Chapel 

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