The texture - for six voices, a capella - favours a very dense but brilliant sonority. It is generous without necessarily being heavy, inviting a varied array of combinations which alternates with the majestic tutti.
While the first of the three pieces constituting this suite (I - Homo homini lupus) uses chords of very rich colour, as well as augmented chords and chords with added seconds - leaving open the meaning of this Latin saying - the third (III – Varium/Vestis), after a fragile beginning, makes extensive use of the superimposition of perfect major chords from distant tonalities, in an antiphonal play between men and women, as much in dispute as in being complementary.
This suite grew out of its second piece (II – In vino veritas) which, constructed with diverse non-transposable scales, illustrates the process of maturing wine. In vino veritaswas comissioned by a wine maker, to whom many thanks are given for this initiative.
I dedicate this work to Owen Rees, with whom I had the honour of sharing a period of profound dedication to sacred Portuguese polyphony, including extraordinary works for six voices. It is due to this inspiration that in the present edition the prolonged syllables of the text are not hyphenated, so that the graphic representation remains as clear as the created sonoric picture should sound.
The suite Latinae Sententiae sex vocum may be understood as a collection of études to perfect the sound of choirs of any size, or also of ensembles of six soloists, since it demands a very delicate balance of timbre, dynamics, and intonation. Nevetherless, the three pieces are not difficult to learn and may be sung, due to the universal nature of their latin lyrics, in many contexts of secular concerts, or even as a light encore in sacred programmes.
- Homo homini lupus
Man is man’s wolf
II. In vino veritas
In wine [there is] truth
III. Varium et mutabile semper femina/Vestis virum reddit
Woman is allways changeable/Clothes maketh man
(Printed full score and separate parts) – has 12 separate parts