On this solemn day, let me share with you a favourite piece of sacred music for today, by the perhaps lesser known Spanish composer Fernando Sor (1778-1839). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77geP_k4RHw
It is a moving and expressive work for Holy Week, a setting of the second stanza of the hymn Vexilla regis. While Sor was living, for three years, in Russia, he wrote this sacred choral piece for four voices in connection with the request for him to be admitted to the Order of the Golden Spur, the Ordine dello Speron d’Oro, to which Mozart also belonged. As a result, Sor was admitted to the Order.
O Crux ave, spes unica,
Hoc passionis tempore
Auge piis justitiam,
Reisque dona veniam.
O Cross! all hail! sole hope, abide
With us now in this Passiontide:
New grace in pious hearts implant,
And pardon to the guilty grant.
By Fr Tomas
Illustration © Jan Hearn