Josquin Des Prez (±1450 – 1521): Qui habitat

This twenty-four part (6 × SATB) setting by Josquin of the text of first eight verses of Psalm 90 in the Vulgate. It’s composed of four interwoven six-voice canons augmented by some very intricate and detailed decoration underlain by a harmonic ostinato. Gabriel Jackson’s notes for the performance below can’t be bettered by me: Surviving…

Tomás Luis de Victoria (1548-1611): Regina caeli laetare a 8

De Victoria’s eight-part (SATB SATB) setting of the Marian antiphon Regina caeli laetare has a distinctly celebratory character it was intended to be sung at Vespers and Compline from  Easter  Sunday to  the  week  after  after Pentecost. I don’t know when it was composed but I think it must be from his Roman period when…

Annibale Padovano (1527-1575): Mass for 24 Voices

It seems to have become musical orthodoxy that Tallis’ Spem in alium was inspired by Striggio’s Missa Ecco sì beato giorno and the motet upon which it’s based Ecce beatam lucem but that’s not to say that Tallis’ masterpiece was inspired exclusively by Striggio’s work another candidate is this Mass for twenty-four voices which was…

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

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…

Peter Philips (1560-1628): Regina Caeli laetare

The Regina Caeli is one of four Marian antiphons traditionally said or sung after compline. It is said throughout Eastertide –  the fifty day period from Easter Sunday to Pentecost, and during that period can be said in place of the Angelus. Philips’  setting while it is for two choirs is more Roman than Venetian…

Robert Carver (fl 1484– 1567): O bone Jesu

Robert Carver (or Carvor) was an Augustinian monk whose compositions are the source of the Carvor Choir book. He was evidently musically very ambitious, as you can hear from his nineteen part motet  O bone Jesu (SSSAATTTTTTTTTTTBBB). It’s a very assured piece of music that illustrates in a quite spectacular manner how the English fondness…