Hyperion Records

Concordes adhibete animos
composer
5vv; in mortem Adriani Willaert
author of text

Recordings
'Willaert: Missa Mente tota & Motets' (CDA67749)
Willaert: Missa Mente tota & Motets
Buy by post £10.50 CDA67749  Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Details

Concordes adhibete animos
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When Willaert died in December 1562, he had served the Venetian basilica di San Marco for 35 years. During this time, the institution had gained a strong international reputation. It is therefore not surprising that Willaert’s death was lamented by no fewer than five composers: Giovanni Battista Conforti and Lorenzo Benvenuti each composed a madrigal, whereas Andrea Gabrieli and Willaert’s nephew Alvise lamented his death with a greghesca (a curious genre, the text of which is based on a mixture of Venetian dialect with Greek words). With his five-voice motet Concordes adhibete animos, Cipriano de Rore—Willaert’s fellow countryman and successor at Saint Mark’s—left a particular musical monument.

Although Rore’s motet carries the heading ‘in mortem Adriani Willaert’, nowhere in its text is grief for the loss of the deceased composer mentioned. The spirited exclamation ‘Vive Adriane decus Musarum, vive Adriane’ that stretches the length of the composition as a soggetto ostinato seems equally at odds with the stated occasion in the composition’s heading. Above all, the piece ends with a ‘joyful’ passage in tempus perfectum, which praises Willaert’s native region: ‘Felix quae hunc genuit Flandria in orbe virum’. Concordes adhibete animos should thus be interpreted as a posthumous panegyric rather than a lamento in the strict sense of the word. The style of Rore’s motet clearly suggests that he wished to uphold the memory of Willaert’s achievements and to guarantee the survival of his music.

from notes by Katelijne Schiltz © 2010

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