Josquin Des Prez (±1450 1521): Virgo salutiferi

In 1503 Duke Ercole I of Ferrara overruled his advisers and employed Josquin as maestro di cappella they’d advised him to hire Heinrich Isaac instead of Josquin because he was easier to get on with, was more companionable, far less inclined to make a fuss about composing on demand, and last but by no means…

Giovanni Paolo Cima (1570- 1630): Exaudi Domine

Cima’s Exaudi Domine takes its text from Psalm 26:7b,9b in the Clementine Vulgate, it’s one of his Concerti Ecclesiastici published in Milan in1610. It’s set for two voices and continuo and is a perfect example of Cima’s skilful and innovative blending of a somewhat ornamented secular declamatory style being used in sacred music. Enjoy :-).…

Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (±1525-1594): O rex gloriae

We’re fortunate to have Palestrina’s setting of the Magnificat Antiphon at Second Vespers on the Feast of the Ascension which this year falls today May 5th. It’s a four-part setting (SATB) and was originally published by Gardano at some point during 1563 in the Motecta festorum totius anni cum Communi Sanctorum … liber primus that…

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…

Robert White (±1538-1574): Domine, quis habitabit (III)

Mid-sixteenth century English composers were great admirers of Josquin and sought to emulate him. His psalm motets were particularly admired and pretty much everyone tried their hand at least once, White was no exception this is his setting of Psalm 14 – you might find it interesting to contrast it with Byrd’s setting about  which…

Giaches de Wert (1535-96): Hoc enim sentite in vobis

This more than somewhat madrigalian motet was published in 1581 in de Wert’s Il Secondo libro de motetti a cinque voci when he was at the height of his compositional powers. It’s SATTB and  takes its text from Philippians 2:5-11 and has an interesting musical structure in which the second half of the motet is…