Crucifixtus Pro Nobis is an extended setting of Patrick Carey’s poetry on the birth, life and death of Jesus Christ. Leighton is relentless in his evocation at times; unnervingly so. The penultimate movement, 'Christ in His Passion', envelops a true sense of foreboding, with a stark and demanding tenor solo which truly captivates and brings home a lasting image of the crucifixion. The undulating organ part increases in tenacity under the bleak tenor declamation to the remarkable full choir entry at the words, ‘…and now the cross they rear’. The ensuing imitative counterpoint forms a devastating ‘plea’, combining emotional introspection with anger and agitation. This work is not for the feint-hearted, but is perhaps the most suitable and strident reminder of the events of Christ’s time on earth. The serene conclusion to the work sets the text Drop, Drop Slow Tears, in a fresh, meditative litany which so beautifully closes the previous events. In my mind, a work too often neglected in favour of more ‘popular’ Passiontide settings.
George Richford - (Durham)
Magnificent piece for a competent choir of any size, together with a good tenor or soprano soloist and organist. A very moving portrayal of the Crucifixion using largely 20th century poetry, culminating in heart-rending Drop, drop slow tears. Anonymous
- (Tring, United Kingdom)