Creator omnium, Deus
was published in 1554 by the Leuven music printer Pierre Phalèse as part of the Liber sextus cantionum sacrarum
. The motet is based on the apocryphal biblical text Maccabees—the passage in question marks the beginning of the prayer of Nehemias (‘Creator of all things, God, dreadful and strong and just and merciful’). Willaert’s six-voice piece contains a canon at the lower fifth between Tenor primus and Tenor secundus, who quote the plainsong melody in long note values, thus clearly distinguishing the canon from the other voices. From ‘Da pacem, Domine’ onwards, the canonic voices use smaller note values and merge rhythmically with the other voices. Willaert’s Creator omnium, Deus
was the model for a motet by Orlandus Lassus, which is also for six voices and carries a canon at the lower fifth.
from notes by Katelijne Schiltz © 2010