Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (±1525-1594): Introduxit me rex in cellam

The first edition of these motets published in Rome in 1584 by Alessandro Gardano made no mention of the fact that they consisted entirely of texts drawn from the Canticum Canticorum – The Song of Songs. As Gardano and Palestrina became more confident of their acceptance subsequent editions mentioned the fact explicitly with phrases such as motettorum ex canticis Salomonis or Salomonis nimirum cantica on their title pages. They need hardly have bothered word had spread about the beauty of these latest madrigali spirituali and of how they could be sung by all kinds of small singing groups in low- or high-pitch performance. They sold like hot cakes so much so that there were multiple editions printed between 1587 and 1613. Introduxit me rex in cellam (The king brought me to his wine cellar;) is the twelfth in the series and like so many of its companions Palestrina’s music matches perfectly the sensuality of the text. Enjoy :-)


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