Hans Leo Hassler (1562-1612): Dixit Maria

Hassler studied under Andrea Gabrieli in Venice before returning to Germany moved from post to post into ever increasingly lucrative sinecures (you’ll find more biographical information about him my posting about him written on March 28th 2015 which you can find here: Hans Leo Hassler (1562-1612): Ad Dominum | Saturday Chorale – mfi). Dixit Maria (Mary said) is a four-part setting of Luke 1: 38:

Dixit Maria ad angelum: Ecce ancilla Domini, fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum.
(Mary said to the angel, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.)

Hassler published it in 1591, it’s a charming piece with a pleasing melody very typical of Hassler’s popularising style. Hassler believed that religious music including motets such as this one should be as approachable to the layman as secular music. He certainly succeeded with Dixit Maria which sounds like a canzona or chanson with its long–short–short canzona rhythm and marvellously clear contrapuntal writing. Enjoy :-)

mfi

Hans Leo Hassler (1562-1612): Dixit Maria

Dixit Maria ad angelum: Ecce ancilla Domini, fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum.
(Mary said to the angel, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.)

Performers: The Cambridge Singers, conducted by John Rutter

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