Composer:   Steven Sametz
Arranger:   NA
Publisher:   Oxford University Press
Edition:   0-19-386309-X
Voicing:   SATB div
Setting:   A Cappella


Lee Nelson
St. Cloud State University 2008
R&R Chair College & University

Steven Sametz’s setting of Gaudete was commissioned for Chanticleer in 1995. The piece opens with a repeated refrain set in a 5/4 meter with a furioso tempo marking. It moves into a traditional four-part setting of the Advent text and tune that continues to incorporate mixed meters. However, Sametz’s provides some unexpected modal shifts in the traditional harmony providing a modernized feel to the ancient tune. In the middle of the work, Sametz recalls the popular 16t century Spanish villancico tune Riu Riu Chiu, adding another layer of creativity to this wonderful setting. The piece concludes with a variation on the opening refrain set at an even faster tempo marked piú presto. This erupts into a six-part repeated declamation of the word Gaudete culminating in a fortissimo, a minor diad spanning three octaves! Sametz’s Gaudete promises to provide a fun and energetic contrast in your holiday program.

Original Post Date:   10/18/2008