Alonso Lobo (1555-1617): Vivo ego, dicit Dominus

Alonso Lobo (not to be confused with the Portugese composer Duarte Lôbo) was a native of the province of Seville and spent most of his professional life there. He was born in Osuna in 1555 and at the age of eleven became a choirboy in Seville’s Cathedral, he studied music at Osuna University taking the…

Josquin Des Prez (±1450 1521): Missa Pange Lingua

Josquin’s Mass setting Missa Pange Lingua is based upon the melody of Pange Lingua, Aquinas’s adaptation of Venantius Fortunatus’ hymn for Corpus Christi. It’s a remarkable piece of music, composed when Josquin was at the height of his power. It’s both a cantus firmus Mass and a paraphrase setting, cantus firmus because Josquin uses the…

Pange Lingua

Pange Lingua or Pange Lingua Gloriosi Corporis Mysterium to give it its full title is a hymn by Aquinas written for the Feast of Corpus Christi  that is also sung during Holy Thursday. When the last two stanza are sung separately at the Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament it is called Tantum Ergo. It’s been…

Alonso Lobo (1555-1617): O quam suavis est, Domine

During his lifetime Alonso Lobo was respected as the equal of  Tomás Luis de Victoria his music was very widespread being found in collections all over Catholic Christendom from the Sistine Chapel to the New World. He published his six-part motet O quam suavis est, Domine in 1607.  Its text is the antiphon for the…

Heinrich Isaac (±1450 –1517): Missa De Apostolis

I can’t tell you very much about this very prolific South Netherlands composer’s early life neither his birthday which could be any time during the five-year period 1450-55 nor his birthplace are known. He was a layman who and appears not to have attended university what he was was a very accomplished composer some of…

John Browne (fl c1480–1505): Stabat iuxta

To my mind Browne is perhaps the greatest English composer of the period between Dunstaple and Taverner. Certainly his contemporaries rated him very highly, his polyphony is dense, intricate, and based upon carefully worked out mathematics, and the Tudor era elite loved that sort of thing. Perhaps that’s why he was appointed as one of…

Sunday Concert: Palestrina 400 Years

Perhaps at this point you might like a brief respite from all the Christmas music? How about the Tallis Scholars’ February 2nd 1994 Palestrina 400th Anniversary Concert? It was held appropriately enough in St. Maria Maggiore the church where  Palestrina began his education as a scholar and where he was also a choir boy. Palestrina…