Gaudent in caelis animae Sanctorum
combines a paraphrase of a plainsong antiphon (for the Magnificat at Second Vespers for the Common of Two or more Martyrs outside Eastertide) with canonic treatment: the chant melody is imitated at the interval of a fifth by the second lowest and second highest voices, though others also follow its contours. The use of the chant in two—occasionally more—voices thus reflects the number of martyrs celebrated, and their canonic relationship suggests God’s law linking them. The melody as reworked by Monte is similar to that in use in Habsburg territories in the sixteenth century, as preserved in a 1519 antiphoner from Passau: its canonic treatment necessitates several variations, however. The element of rejoicing is provided by the vigour of Monte’s rhythmicization of the chant melody, together with its intrinsically ‘major-key’ modality. The motet ends with a reference to the saints rejoicing without end, a point subtly underlined by the reluctance of the highest voice to make its cadence until after the other five have arrived on the final chord.
from notes by Stephen Rice © 2008