Posts Tagged ‘ Motets ’

Francisco Guerrero ( 1528 – 1599): Prudentes virgines

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July 28, 2015

Francisco Guerrero's five-part motet Prudentes virgines (wise virgins) sets a text based on the Gospel parable of the ten virgins (the parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins) it was first published in Venice in 1570.  Guerrero was greatly admired by his contemporaries not least Alonso Lobo who based his Missa Prudentes virgines upon Guerrero's motet. Enjoy :-)

mfi

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Guillaume de Machaut (±1300-1377): Inviolata Genitrix

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July 24, 2015

Historiated initial accompanying hymns to  the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Source: Compendium morale of Roger de Waltham (d. 1336).  Unknown artist. Location: University of Glasgow Library.

Historiated initial accompanying hymns to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Source: Compendium morale of Roger de Waltham (d. 1336).
Unknown artist.
Location: University of Glasgow Library.

Guillaume de Machaut continues to be acknowledged to this day as the most significant French poet and composer of the fourteenth century [I wrote about him here: Sunday Feature: Guillaume de Machaut (c1300-1377): – Messe de Nostre Dame – Ensemble Gilles Binchois dir. D. Vellard | Saturday Chorale – mfi]. He was both a poet and a musician and it's no exaggeration to say that he dominated French poetry and music for several generations after his death. His four-part setting of the Marian motet Inviolata Genetrix (Virgin mother) is a typical Marian intercessionary motet of its period in which the Virgin, who was seen as a more approachable figure than Christ, is asked to protect her devotees to intercede for them in the dire straits in which they find themselves:

"help us decisively
for we perish,
we are violently attacked
but are feebly defended,"

(The reference is to the ravages of the 100 years war). It's an unusual piece of music that sounds very unfamiliar to modern ears but which repays the effort made. It's also unusual amongst Machaut's motets firstly because it is a four-part setting (motetus, triplem, contratenor and tenor) with contratenor and tenor singing the same text, and secondly because it's in Latin and Machaut set mostly French secular texts. Enjoy :-).

mfi

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Henri Dumont (±1610 – 1684): Panis Angelicus

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July 23, 2015

Du Mont was born near Liège in what is now Belgium he was educated at the Jesuit college and  the choir school of Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk in Maastricht but spent most of his life in France where, from 1660 on he filled a variety of posts at the court serving in turn the King's brother, queen Marie-Thérèse, and ultimately Louis XIV himself as sous-maître  of the Chapelle-Royale where he remained until 1683. He's mostly remembered for his motets in particular his grands motets of which more than eighty survive. But he could also write very beautiful and very intimate petits motets as his setting of the last two verses of  Sacris Solemnis which you can hear below shows. Enjoy :-).

mfi

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William Byrd (±1539-1623): O salutaris hostia

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July 7, 2015

O salutaris hostia (O Saving sacrifice) is the final stanza of the hymn Verbum supernum prodiens, composed by Aquinas for the Hour of Lauds in the Office of the Feast of Corpus Christi. It's often selected for use as a hymn in its own right for Benediction and as a motet for Mass after the Offertory. Byrd set it twice, the setting you can hear below is his  four-part setting (ATTB) published in 1605. Enjoy :-)

mfi

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Orlande de Lassus (±1530-1594): Osculetur me

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July 1, 2015

De Lassus used this motet which takes its text from the Song of Songs as the basis for his Mass of the same name. It's an eight-part setting for double choir (SATB SATB) first published in 1582 in Fasciculi aliquot sacrarum it's characterise by long phrasing offset by contrapuntal writing and contrasting sonority between the passages for the individual choirs and the passages for the combined choirs. Enjoy :-).

mfi

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