Hyperion Records

Exsultent iusti
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Exsultent iusti appears at first to describe the rejoicing of the righteous on earth, which Regnart illustrates with rising quaver runs; the phrase ‘et delectentur in laetitia’ (‘and let them rejoice with happiness’) is particularly rich in musical representation of happiness, with dotted rhythms and alternation of, as it were, tonic and dominant harmonies. Only after this does it become apparent that it is the heavenly kingdom that is under discussion, and correspondingly the rejoicing becomes ever more decorous until the final phrase of the motet, in which the righteous find ‘eternal rest’—not an easy concept to portray musically, but the point is made by the contrast with the vigour of the piece’s opening.

from notes by Stephen Rice © 2007

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