Vidimus Stellam (We Have Seen His Star)

I. O Oriens
Rorate caeli
Hodie Christus natus est
Surge, illuminare
Vidimus stellam

Christmas Cantata for SATB chorus and brass quintet or organ
Brass Quintet Instrumentation: Trumpets I & II, Horn in F, Trombone, Bass Trombone
Duration: 15.5 Minutes
Text: Latin
Year: 2012

Commissioned by: ChoralArt
Premiered by: ChoralArt, Portland, ME, Robert Russell, director, December 1, 2012

Commission Partners: Capitol Hill Chorale, Georgetown University Concert Choir, Manchester Choral Society, National Lutheran Choir
Supported in part by an "Alfred Nash Patterson Grant" from Choral Arts New England

Publisher: E. C. Schirmer Music Company #8634

Complete work:
Choral score - 8634
Full score - 8634A
Brass Quintet Parts - 8634B

Available separately:
O Oriens (Choir Score) - 8814*
Rorate caeli (Choir Score) - 8815*
Hodie Christus Natus Est (Choir Score) - 8816
Hodie Christus Natus Est (Full Score) - 8816A
Hodie Christus Natus Est (Brass Parts) - 8816B
Surge, illuminare (Choir Score) - 8817*
Vidimus stellam (Choir Score) - 8818*
*Brass parts for these movements may be licensed.

J.W. Pepper
ECS Publishing


Vidimus Stellam was commissioned by ChoralArt of Portland, Maine - Robert Russell, Music Director - in celebration of the 25th anniversary of Christmas at the Cathedral, a series of concerts presented annually at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland. Robert Russell conducted the premiere on December 1, 2012.

The original commission from ChoralArt was to create a cantata for choir and brass, using Latin texts, in the vein of Daniel Pinkhams’s Christmas Cantata (Sinfonia Sacra), composed in 1957. Since Daniel Pinkham was one of my teachers and principal mentors during my studies at the New England Conservatory, I was thrilled to take on this commission as a tribute to his enduring work.

The texts of Vidimus Stellam are organized around the theme of light. The overall musical form follows this theme as it progresses through the seasons of Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany.

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