Circuire possum

Tawnie Olson
Tawnie Olson
Composition Date: 2003
Duration: 00:03:30
Genre: Choral (9 + Voices), A Capella


Instrumentation Set Number 1:
  • 1 x Mixed chorus
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Programme Note:
Circuire possum is in some ways one of the oddest pieces I have written. It began as an end-of- term assignment for a class in 16th Century counterpoint. I analyzed Palestrina’s setting of this text, then set about putting it to music myself, using archaic clefs and time signatures and doing my best not to violate any of the guiding compositional principles of his era. As I wrote, I became more and more engaged with the text, and when I had finished I discovered that I felt as strong a connection to this piece as to any I have written in my usual, contemporary idiom. I have begun a “modern” setting of this text for chorus and orchestra, but I am still strangely attached to this setting that came into being 400 years after its time.

Translation of Text:

I am able to go around, Lord,
heaven, and earth,
and sea, and desert,
and nowhere will I find you
if not on the cross
most holy.
There you sleep,
there you eat,
there you lie in the noonday.
For the cross is your faith (pledge),
the length of it is charity,
the width of it is patience,
its height is hope,
its depth is fear.
In this cross he finds you,
whoever finds you.

-Excerpt from Cardinal Drogo’s Sermon for Passion Sunday (12th Century)

Premiere Information:
04/05/2009 Battell Chapel New Haven, CT Battell Chapel Chorus, Conductor: Dominick DiOrio


  • Call Number:
  • MV 6000 O52ci
  • Genre:
  • Choral (9 + Voices), A Capella
  • Date of Acquisition:
  • April 3, 2012
  • Type:
  • Print-music, Published by CMC
  • Physical Description:
  • 1 score (11 p.) ;
    11 Pages
    Height: 28 cm
    Width: 22 cm
  • Language Information
  • Language of libretto: Latin
  • Additional Information:
  • Text in Latin by Cardinal Drogo
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Circuire possum SATB: Score
(downloadable PDF)

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Circuire possum SATB by Tawnie Olson (Score)
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Circuire possum SATB
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