Nolo mortem peccatoris (I do not wish a sinner to die) for 4 violas



Possibly the finest motet by Thomas Morley, originally published in the collection “Tristitiae Remedium Cantiones Selectissimae”
The false relation in the second beat of bar 30 is particularly effective.
The pdf contains score and parts.
The sound sample is an electronic preview.

The words of the original motet were written by John Redford, as follows:
Nolo mortem peccatoris; Haec sunt verba Salvatoris.
(I do not wish a sinner to die – these are the Saviour’s words)

Father I am thine only Son, sent down from heav’n mankind to save.
Father, all things fulfilled and done according to thy will, I have.
Father, my will now all is this: Nolo mortem peccatoris.
Father, behold my painful smart, taken for man on ev’ry side;
Ev’n from my birth to death most tart, no kind of pain I have denied,
but suffered all, and all for this: Nolo mortem peccatoris.