Buckner's 'Locus Iste' and Taveners 'the Lamb'

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Anton Bruckner (1834-1896) as well as being a composer was also an accomplished organist. He became organist at many places including Linz cathedral and the Court Chapel in Vienna. He wrote many masses as at St. Florian (where he also used to be a chorister) and Vienna as well as writing symphonies which were largely unsuccessful, being described as ‘nonsense' ‘unplayable' and ‘wild'. Being devout catholic most of his sacred music was written for the Catholic Church. This is the case for his motet ‘Locus Iste' (NAM 30). Written in Vienna but performed first for the consecration of a church in Linz.

John Tavener (1944-?) started playing the piano at an early age having been influenced greatly by his father who was organist at St. Johns Presbyterian Church in Kensington (where many of Tavener's early performances were first performed). He then went on to The Royal Academy of music to study piano, where one of his cantatas won the Prince Rainier of Monaco prize. Tavener was a devout member of the Orthodox Church and therefore much of his work is sacred such as ‘The Lamb'. ‘The Lamb' is a non-liturgical sacred piece of music using the words of William Blake's poem from his ‘Songs of Innocence and Experience'.

The main structural definition in both of these works comes from the text. NAM 30 in section A (Bars 1-12) uses the same words ‘Locus iste a deo factus est' throughout. It then changes in section B (Bars 12-29) with the words ‘Inaestimabile Sacramentum ireprehensibilis est' until the returning A section (Bar 30-39) ‘Locus iste a deo factus est'. This piece therefore is in ternary form (ABA) but it also has a coda which starts at bar 39 with an extended ‘a deo factus est'. The Tavener (NAM 32) is very much strophic. Meaning its structure is based on the verses of the text. You can also see that the first section (B1-10) is questioning and last section (B11-20) is answering (Section 1: ‘Little Lamb who made thee?' Section 2: ‘Little Lamb I'll...
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