O Virgin of virgins - William Armiger

Duration: 3'00"
Ensemble: double SATB unaccompanied
Grading: Medium
CMP398 Full score £3.00
MP3 performance (Sibelius Sounds, prepared by the composer)

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This, until recently the last of the Great O sequence of Advent Antiphons in Church of England liturgy, reflects the awe and wonder that such a momentous event could happen to someone who otherwise might have been seen as just another ordinary Jewish girl.

Following the traditional plainsong introduction, the two choirs gently exchange these expressions of wonder and incredulity but, as the motet moves to its climax, that quiet wonder is transformed into a jubilant expression of joy which then returns to a quiet almost introspective contemplation, underpinned by a gentle "Ave Maria".