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Videte miraculum

composer
author of text

 
Vox patris and Videte miraculum (another form, the Respond with its plainsong ‘cantus firmus’ base, now going out of fashion) were almost certainly written in the reign of Mary. Latin was still used for services later, certainly in Elizabeth’s own Chapel Royal, and Latin music published, thanks to the queen’s dispensation of a monopoly, in Tallis and Byrd’s 1575 Cantiones Sacrae. Thus to use the language at all did not in itself imply recusancy, but Mundy may well have retained Catholic sympathies. His early, Marian anthem Exsurge Christe, very unusual for its time in setting non-liturgical words, is a prayer against heresy, and pleads for the confounding of schismatics; his son John, who succeeded Merbecke as organist of St George’s Chapel, Windsor, in 1585, wrote an overtly pro-Roman setting of the Lamentations (though not even this would have to imply treason—the queen could describe the Earl of Worcester, one of Byrd’s patrons, as ‘a stiff papist and a good subject’).

from notes by Nicolas Robertson © 1989

Recordings

Mundy: Sacred Choral Music
CDH55086
The Sixteen & The Golden Age of Polyphony
CDS44401/1010CDs Boxed set (at a special price)

Details

Track 2 on CDH55086 [8'35]
Track 2 on CDS44401/10 CD10 [8'35] 10CDs Boxed set (at a special price)

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