Jacob Handl (1550–1591): Missa Super Sancta Maria

Despite his relatively short life, Handl musical output was vast around five hundred works known to be by him survive most of these are religious works and the overwhelming majority of them three hundred and seventy four motets scored for between four and twenty-four voices are to be found in his four volume Opus musicum. He also composed settings of the Mass of which twenty survive in published form. Many of these Masses are parodies some of them are based upon motets that he himself had composed but others such as his Missa Super Sancta Maria take their inspiration either from motets by Clemens non Papa, Hollander, Vaet and Verdelot or from the secular songs of Crecquillon and de Lassus.

Missa Super Sancta Maria is a six-part (ATTBarBB or SAATBB) setting of the Mass that takes Verdelot’s motet and treats it very imaginatively it was published in Prague as part of Handl’s Selectiores quaedam missae it’s a richly textured piece of music that especially during the longer passages somehow manages to combine very Venetian, almost polychoral, music with smooth and flowing idiomatic Flemish polyphony. I can only marvel at depth of his knowledge of singing and his compositional skill at bringing off such a feat. Enjoy :-).



  • 00:00 – Kyrie Eleison
  • 03:35 – Gloria
  • 08:01 – Credo
  • 16:17 – Sanctus
  • 20:40 – Agnus Dei

Video Source: Jacobus Gallus – Missa Super Sancta Maria – YouTube. Published on Aug 16, 2013 by VanBisaven.

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