Christopher Keyes

Veni Sancte Spiritus

Instrumentation2221/2200/1 perc/harp/strings, plus mixed chorus and narrator
Length13 minutes
DifficultyMedium. There is a short, high-lying cello solo, and the harp part is fairly prominent. The narrator must be enough of a musician to coordinate temporally with the rest of the ensemble.
CommentsDesigned to fill a slot in a Christmas program otherwise devoted to two Bach Christmas cantatas and the central portion of Berlioz`s L`Enfance du Christ, Veni Sancte Spiritus focuses on the adult activity of Jesus. The chorus sings, in Latin, the medieval Veni Sancte hymn; a narrator recites New Testament verses relating parables and statements attributed to Jesus. The style is relatively simple, tonal, melodic and regular, but with much use of major seconds between sections of the chorus, that make good tuning crucial. As the piece moves toward the coda, the original chant melody of the Veni hymn is heard in the chorus. The piece dissolves into silence.
SourcesDr. Christopher Keyes
Dept. of Music & Fine Arts
Hong Kong Baptist University
Kowloon Tong, Kowloon
Hong Kong
HistoryCommissioned by The Hong Kong Bach Choir & Orchestra, first performed 12 Dec. 1999 by the above, with Stuart Christie, narrator, Jerome Hoberman, conductor. The piece was not reviewed in the local press, but the official assessor sent by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council, which partially funded the concert, wrote very positively about it, and both audience and chorus were obviously delighted with the work.
ContributorJerome Hoberman,,Music Director, The Hong Kong Bach Choir & Orchestra,Orchestra Director, Hong Kong Baptist University

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