Posts Tagged ‘ Motets ’

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

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July 23, 2014

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 :-)

mfi

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Josquin Des Prez (±1450-1521): Recordare, virgo mater

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July 22, 2014

Some musicologists doubt whether this is really by Josquin but I think the fact that it survived only in Antico’s second book of motets which he published in 1520 isn't enough to discount it. It's got an unusual texture – three equal high voices being set against one low one, and is almost relentlessly energetic in its sense of swirling motion. It's not a piece I listen to often but I always enjoy it thoroughly when I do and hope you will too.

mfi

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Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (±1525-1594): Domine quando veneris

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July 18, 2014

Palestrina's beautiful four-part (SATB) setting of the Matins Responsory from Office of the Dead is a hauntingly beautiful, heartfelt piece of music that never fails to move me. Enjoy :-). 

mfi

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Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (±1525-1594): Sicut lilium inter spinas

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July 16, 2014
This entry is part 10 of 10 in the series Palestrina - Canticum Canticorum Salomonis (Song of Songs)

berniniecstasy

Sicut lilium inter spinas (As the lily among the thorns) is the eleventh in the series of twenty-nine motets composed by Palestrina as a sort of vocal chamber music for performance by groups looking for music to be sung during private non-liturgical devotional meetings. The demand was high both because of the religious revival sweeping Italy but also because Palestrina's music like Bernini's Ecstasy of St. Theresa, and indeed much else of the religious art of the period tapped into a deep vein of sensuality. Enjoy :-).

mfi

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William Byrd (±1539-1623): Solve iubente Deo

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July 11, 2014

To judge from the fact that he wrote three pieces in honour of the saint Byrd plainly had a particular devotion to St. Peter. One of these is his short six-part (SSATTB) motet Solve iubente Deo.  Short it may be but that doesn't stop it being a magnificent piece of music. It's from the 1607 Gradualia and Byrd packed it with sonority and wonderfully vivid musical illustrations from the vigourous opening 'Solve' to the rattling of chains at 'catenas' to the sunny upland vistats of 'caelestia regna beatis' Enjoy :-).

mfi

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