Peter Philips (1560-1628): Ascendit Deus

Peter Philips’ five-part setting of the Offertory motet Ascendit Deus (God has ascended) was written In Festo Ascensionis Domini it takes its text from Psalm Psalm 46 (47): 5 and 102 (103):19. As you might expect from Philips it’s a superbly written piece of  music which opens with a marvellous rising figure before moving on…

Guillaume Dufay (1397-1474): Veritas Mea

Over the weekend I listened to Dufay’s Missa de S Anthonii de Padua, at some point I’ll have to write about this extraordinary setting of the Mass. Dufay was particularly devoted to St. Anthony of Padua and his Missa de S Anthonii de Padua is remarkable both because of its extraordinary musical diversity and beauty…

Johannes Brahms (1833-1897): Missa canonica

Brahms’ Missa Canonica is a fairly early work – he probably composed it sometime around 1856. Despite the fact that it’s an early work Brahms obviously thought well of it, well enough that he quoted it heavily in his motet Warum ist das Licht gegeben?  And yet it’s almost unknown, so unknown in fact that…

Josquin Des Prez (±1450 1521): Missa Pange Lingua

Josquin’s Mass setting Missa Pange Lingua is based upon the melody of Pange Lingua, Aquinas’s adaptation of Venantius Fortunatus’ hymn for Corpus Christi. It’s a remarkable piece of music, composed when Josquin was at the height of his power. It’s both a cantus firmus Mass and a paraphrase setting, cantus firmus because Josquin uses the…