Posts Tagged ‘ Religious Music ’

Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (±1525-1594): Quam pulchra es, et quam decora

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November 26, 2014

How beautiful art thou, and how comely,
my dearest, in delights!
Thy stature is like to a palm tree
and thy breasts to clusters of fruit.
I said: I will go up into the palm tree
and I will take hold of the fruit thereof.
And thy breasts also shall be as the clusters of the vine;
and the odour of thy mouth like apples.

Quam pulchra es, et quam decora (How beautiful art thou, and how comely)  is one of the last of the series of twenty-nine motets written by Palestrina as a sort of vocal chamber music that could be performed by a wide variety of groups. They were fabulously popular going through no less than eleven reprints in a number of years. Enjoy :-)

mfi

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Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (±1525-1594): Duo ubera tua

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November 20, 2014

Thy breasts are like two fawns, roes that are twins.
Thy nose is as a tower of ivory.
Thine eyes are like the pools in Hesebon,
which are at the Gate of the Daughter of the Multitude.
Thy nose is as the tower of Lebanon
that looks towards Damascus.
Thy head is like Carmel, and the hair of thy head
is as royal purple braided in strands.

This is the twenty-sixth in the series of twenty-nine motets based upon the Song of Songs that Palestrina first published in 1584. Each motet is carefully contrived to singable by a wide range of groups and it is this, coupled with the beauty and eroticism of the text that accounted for their wild popularity. They took Italy by storm going through no  less than eleven reprints in short order. I've always felt that Duo ubera tua is particularly beautiful. Enjoy :-).

mfi

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Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (±1525-1594): Quam pulchri sunt gressus tui

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November 13, 2014

Quam pulchri sunt gressus tui is the twenty fifty in the series of motets based upon the Song of Songs first published by Palestrina in 1584. The eroticism of the text – the Song of Songs is after all love poetry of a desert people,  no doubt helped account for its popularity with the public. Enjoy :-).

mfi

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Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (±1525-1594): Descendi in hortum meum

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November 5, 2014

Pomegranate in Bud

Descendi in hortum meum (I went down into my garden) is the twenty-fourth in the se­ries of twenty-nine motets based upon Song of Songs pub­lished by Palestrina to meet the de­mand for music to be sung at the meet­ings of the many re­ligi­ous groups, ord­ers, and sodalit­ies spring­ing up during the re­ligi­ous re­viv­al then tak­ing place in Italy . Enjoy :-).

mfi

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Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (±1525-1594): Quae est ista quae progreditur

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October 29, 2014

Who is she who comes forth
like the rising dawn,
fair as the moon and bright as the sun,
terrible as an army in full array?

The twenty-third in the series of motets based upon the Song of Songs Quae est ista quae progreditur it's typical of  Counter-Reformation Marian fervour in its depiction of the Virgin as Our Lady of Victory. Enjoy :-).

mfi

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