Quality Education in the Benedictine Tradition
Fr. Stephen Concordia, O.S.B.Director of Programs in Sacred Music
Fr. Stephen Concordia, O.S.B., Director Sacred Choral Music
Feasts of All Saints and All Souls
- program - FRANCO-FLEMISH COMPOSERS OF THE EARLY AND HIGH RENAISSANCE
1. La déploration sur la Mort d'Ockeghem - Josquin des Prez (c.1450-1521) (Chanson-Motet on the death of his master, Johannes Ockeghem) 2. Absalon, fili mi - Pierre de la Rue (1452-1518) (King David's Lament on the death of his son) 3. Iustorum animae - Orlando di Lasso (1532 - 1594) (Offertory Motet for the Feast of All Saints) LATE RENAISSANCE COMPOSERS OF THE ROMAN SCHOOL 4. Dum aurora - Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525 - 1594) (Motet for the Feast of Saint Cecilia) 5. Super flumina Babilonis - Palestrina (1525 - 1594) 6. Ego sum panis vivus ¬- Palestrina (1525 - 1594) 7. Estote fortes in bello - Tomás Luis de Victoria (1548 - 1611) (Motet for the Feasts of Apostles and Evangelists) 8. O Magnum Mysterium - Victoria (1548 - 1611) LATE RENAISSANCE COMPOSERS OF ENGLAND 9. Audivi vocem - Thomas Tallis (1505 - 1585) (Matins Responsory for the Feast of All Saints) 10. O salutaris hostia - Tallis (1505 - 1585) 11. Gaudeamus omnes - William Byrd (1543-1623) (Introit Motet for the Feast of All Saints) SACRED CHORAL MUSIC FEASTS OF ALL SAINTS AND ALL SOULS
The musical program on this album explores themes associated with the Feasts of All Saints and All Souls (November 1 and 2). Several of the pieces were certainly composed either for the liturgy of All Saints Day, or for another liturgical celebration of a particular saint. Two of the works are laments, and though not explicitly intended for a specific liturgy, are famous examples of Renaissance musical works that sing of the souls of the faithful departed. The pieces come from the middle and late Renaissance and include works by Franco-Flemish composers, by composers of England, and from the Roman School. Josquin’s chanson-motet La déploration sur la mort d’Ockeghem laments the passing of his master and friend Johannes Ockeghem in a poem by Molinet, which names Josquin, “Pierchon” (a nick-name of Pierre de la Rue), as well as two other colleagues of Ockeghem. Pierre de la Rue's motet Absalon, fili mi may have been commissioned to commemorate the untimely death of the son of the composer’s benefactor, appropriating an Old Testament text to lament his own loss. Lasso's Iustorum animae is a setting of an Offertory antiphon for the Feast of All Saints, whose text comes from the Book of Wisdom. The text of Palestrina's Dum aurora, a motet for the Feast of Saint Cecilia, comes from the Medieval Golden Legend that tells the story of this virgin martyr much celebrated in the city of Rome. The text of Super flumina Babilonis, an Offertory motet for the 20th Sunday after Pentecost, is another lament, not for the death of a loved one, but for the exiled psalmist's homeland. Having spent over 20 formative years in Rome, Tomás Luis de Victoria, a Spaniard from Ávila, is often considered a member of the Roman School. In Estote fortes in bello, a motet for the Feasts of Apostles and Evangelists, the sopranos sing a cantus firmus, an ancient contrapuntal technique where a chant melody in longer note values contrasts with the counterpoints with quicker rhythms. Victoria's O magnum mysterium, is a setting of the Matins responsory for Christmas which sings of the Blessed Virgin, and of the animals present at the birth of Christ. Another Matins responsory, this one for the Feast of All Saints (Sarum Rite), is Audivi vocem, in the setting of Thomas Tallis. A variant of the Roman Rite, the Sarum Rite was used in England from the 11th century. This motet adopts an ancient and common practice of alternating polyphony with chant in the performance of motets, hymns, and other liturgical forms. William Byrd's Gaudeamus omnes is an Introit Motet for the Feast of All Saints. The text of this motet, exceptional for introits in that it is not Biblical, originated in the ancient church for the Feast of St. Agatha. It was then adapted for other solemnities: Marian feasts, St. Benedict, All Saints. Byrd’s five-part setting, following the standard practice of singing the introit, includes a psalm verse, the doxology, and the repeat of the antiphon. Fr. Stephen Concordia, O.S.B.