Praise for Trio Motets by Kevin Allen

Last night, at schola practice, we read through a Kevin Allen trio for post-communion from his Motecta Trium Vocum book of motets. We chose O Sanctissima, linked below. In twenty minutes, we had a gorgeous motet worked up. These pieces are absolutely beautiful and very intuitive, modern but traditional. Very fresh and satisfying. I would say that it ranks among the best contemporary music you could ever use with your schola.

We played with various voicing ideas, but we ended up doubling the octaves on each part so: 1st soprano plus 1st tenor | 2nd soprano plus 2nd tenor | alto plus bass. It is probably not the way the composer imagined this happening but it worked with the group we had at rehearsal, and the results were extremely satisfying. And isn’t that what it comes down to for the choir? You can stare at pages all day, and even listen to MP3s, but until you actually try it in real time, it is hard to know for sure. Well, we found out for sure. This is why we made a bulk purchase of the book for our group. I strongly recommend this.

O Sanctissima by Kevin Allen, sung by Matthew J Curtis:Sample from Corpus Christi Watershed on Vimeo.

2 Replies to “Praise for Trio Motets by Kevin Allen”

  1. Several years ago there was an interview with the former director of the Sistine Chapel Papal Choir in which he was asked if it was possible to compose "new" Sacred Music. His response was that, in theory it is always possible, but in todays artistic atmosphere is is highly doubtful. After watching the promotional video for the new church in Littleton Colorado posted here a few days ago, I was inspired to revisit this question. Is the liturgical environment changing? Is it becoming more conducive to authentic musical development? I used Kevin Allen as an example of a composer who "gets it". See the full text of my article at

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