Philippe de Monte (1521-1603): Fratres, ego enim accepi

Textually this is a very odd motet indeed in it de Monte takes two very different texts and stitches them together in such a way that we first have a narrative and then a commentary upon that narrative. The narrative is the text of vv23–24 of 1 Corinthians which paraphrases the Gospels’ recounting of the…

Philippe de Monte (1521-1603): Asperges me, Domine

De Monte was remarkable not only for the quality of his music but also for how much of it he produced. During his career he published thirty-four(!) books of mad­rig­als, thirty-eight Mass sett­ings, around 250 motets, and 144 mad­rigali spirituali. He spent most of his career working for the Hapsburgs winding up as Kapellmeist­er to…

Philippe Verdelot (±1480-±1530): Ultimi miei sospiri

Perhaps because a collection of his madrigals was the first ever printed Philippe Verdelot is considered by some as the inventor of the madrigal. I’m not sure I’d go quite that far but  he was certainly the early 16th century’s  most important and innovative composer of Italian madrigals. He was born in France but his…

Philippe de Monte (1521-1603): Ne timeas, Maria

Philippe de Monte (1521-1603) was an extraordinarily prolific composer. Anglophones mostly know of him because of his friendship with William Byrd and the resulting motets dealing with the oppression of Catholics under English rule. But this was only one episode in an extraordinarily productive career he published no less than thirty-four(!) books of madrigals,  thirty-eight…

Philippe de Monte (1521-1603): Magnificat quarti toni

Philippe de Monte is probably best known in the English speaking world for his friendship with William Byrd and the extraordinary exchange of motets between them (de Monte: Super flumina Babylonis; Byrd: Quomodo cantabimus) in which de Monte expressed his anxiety for his friend and Byrd expressed his determination to carry on. But it’s for…