Gaudete omnes is an optimistic motet whose forward momentum is created by a fluent mixture of contrasting compositional styles. Closely woven six-voice imitative polyphony and agile madrigalian voice-exchange is balanced by solid homophonic writing, each section deftly linked to the previous one with the musical affect carefully chosen to suit the meaning of each phrase of the text. Throughout the motet, much of the listener’s attention is focused on the two upper voices which compete with each other during the imitative passages but sit comfortably together during the chordal sections. Praetorius shows such self-confidence in his mode of expression and in the clarity of word-setting that the contrapuntal mastery is easy to miss, not least in the Alleluia where the highest voice delivers an aurally arresting four-note statement which is the motif of the moment heard in inversion and augmentation.
from notes by Jeremy Summerly © 2008