Exmoor Explorations 5: Saturday 8 April 2017

LASSUS St Matthew Passion

and Renaissance motets for Palm Sunday

1400 – 2100 on SATURDAY 8 April 2017

Orlando di LassoSt Matthew Passion
Cristóbal de Morales – Ingrediente Domino
Samuel Scheidt – Hosianna filio David

Orlando GibbonsHosanna to the Son of David

The principal work being explored this time is the Lassus Passion (see Conductor’s notes below)

More about the Explorations series.


St Stephen’s Church, Gloucester Road, (entrance in Southwell Gardens) London SW7 4RL. Nearest tube Gloucester Road.


£15 cash on the door including free music booklet, tea and coffee.

Provisional Timetable

1400 Rehearsal
1515 Short break
1530 Rehearsal
1645 Short break
1700 Rehearsal
1800 High tea (see below) and Evangelist and Christus run-throughs
1845 Revision as required
1945 Informal performance of all items (friends are welcome to come and listen)
2100 Finish

How to Apply

Simply fill in this short form! Please apply by Wednesday 4 April so we know how many scores to print.

Conductor’s Notes

All of the the three Continental works are completely new to me and, I suspect, to many of you too. I’m in the process of studying them but here are a few preliminary thoughts.

The main work, the St Matthew Passion by Lassus, prefigures later settings (culminating in the immortal Passions by JS Bach) in a fascinating way. We don’t have the Lutheran chorales, we don’t have Bach’s reflective arias and his monumental chorale-preludes, but the biblical text is there and there are tantalising pre-echoes of Bach’s crowd scenes (turbae). We’ll try to make these sound dramatic. Equally interesting are the plainsong Evangelist and Christus parts (see below), which correspond to Bach’s secco recitative roles.

To my chagrin, I had never considered why settings of Hosanna to the Son of David are specific to Palm Sunday. The beautiful Morales motet Ingrediente Domino makes that clear (and incidentally made me realise what ‘ingredients’ are: things that go into something). Thus informed, I’ve included Samuel Scheidt’s setting of the Hosanna text, plus the familiar setting by Orlando Gibbons as a comparison and bonus.


Tea and coffee will be provided at suitable intervals. Bring your own high tea, forage locally, or bring a larger dish (roughly 9-12 average portions) to share. Keep a note of all the ingredients, please!

Solos (male voices)

The plainsong Evangelist and Christus roles in the Lassus have a comfortable T2/Bar/B1 tessitura; I’d think most of the men would find them comfortable. There will not be time to learn them on the day so you’ll have to work on them in advance. We shall however run them in context and tweak them in the high tea break. If you are interested, please state this in your application.


You can view scores of the Continental works through the links below. These scores will be printed as a bound copy, which is included in your subscription for the day.

Lassus (split into 3 sections): 1 2 3