Exeter Chorale – Veni Sponsa Christi

Hosted by: Exeter Chorale

Exeter Chorale, directed by Simon Dunbavand, makes a welcome return to St Michael’s with a Tea-time Concert at 4.30pm on Saturday 9th December.

The programme will showcase two glorious Masses by the great Renaissance composers Lassus (1532-94) and Palestrina (1525-94).

The Motet & Mass Veni Sponsa Christi by the Italian Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina are based on the Plainsong chant for a Vespers Antiphon for a Feast of Holy Virgins.  Veni sponsa Christi, accipe coronam quam tibi Dominus praeparavit in aeternum.  Come, bride of Christ, receive the crown which the Lord has prepared for you for all eternity.

Born in the Netherlands, Orlandus Lassus worked widely across Europe; the Motet & Mass Surge Propera find their root in words from the Song of Songs.

Surge propera amica mea et veni. Iam hiems transiit, imber abiit et recessit, Flores apparuerunt in terra nostra, tempus putationis advenit. Surge propera amica mea, speciosa mea et veni, Columba mea in foraminibus petrae, in caverna maceriae. Ostende mihi faciem tuam, sonet vox tua in auribus meis, Vox enim tua dulcis et facies tua decora.

Arise, my love, and come away; for now the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; the time of pruning has come, Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away. O my dove, who is in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the stairs, let me see your countenance, let me hear your voice; for sweet is your voice, and your countenance is comely.

Remarkably, there is also a 6-part motet by the Spanish composer Francisco Guerrero (1528-99) which combines the text “Surge propera amica mea” with the plainsong “Veni sponsa Christi” in the 2nd Soprano, thus tying our whole programme together.

(We shall be performing a similar programme in the Cary Chapel at Torre Abbey, Torquay, TQ2 5JE on Wednesday 6th December at 7.30pm.)

All this accompanied by Home-made Cakes and Tea or Coffee, while you enjoy the beauty of St Michael’s Church on a Winter afternoon.  Mount Dinham was developed by the eponymous Exeter Tea Merchant John Dinham (1788-1864) and the Church built in his memory was opened in 1868 to serve the local community.

Admission is £10 on the door (including Programme and Refreshments); Students & Children £6.

Concert Poster - Exeter Chorale


St Michael and All Angels’ Church, Dinham Road, Mount Dinham, Exeter, EX4 4EB