The Sicut Cervus (See-coot Chair-voos) is a four-part polyphonic chant written--I'm pretty sure--by Palestrina, way back when. It's all in Latin, and in my humble opinion, it is incredibly beautiful. I used to sing the alto part in college, after which I found a recording and made a tape of it for later perusal. Translation revealed pretty typical religious content, except that certain phrases--especially when properly translated--show a more deeply spiritual connection than is common in newer religious material. Actually, I haven't seen that kind of emotive spirituality since The Matthew Passion. I wonder what could have changed?

Sicut Cervus is a setting of Psalm 42:1 (Vulgate version). As noted above, it is a motet composed by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina. Like many of Palestrina's works, it utilizes imitative polyphony.

The original Latin text is as follows (with a * denoting the beginning of each imitated 'movement' of the piece):

*Sicut cervus desiderat ad fontes aquarum,
*Ita desiderat *anima mea ad te, Deus.
Translated into English, it equates roughly to "Like as the hart desireth the water brooks, so longeth my soul after thee, O God".

I extend my thanks to the mysterious noders who subtly added to and corrected bits of (well, one typo) my writeup via softlinks.

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