Hyperion Records

Litaniae Beatae Mariae Virginis, C63
1615; a 8; Symphoniae sacrae … liber secundus, Venice
author of text
Litany of Loreto

'Gabrieli: Sacred Symphonies' (CDA67957)
Gabrieli: Sacred Symphonies
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Litaniae Beatae Mariae Virginis, C63
Processions, both round the Piazza San Marco, and to churches elsewhere in Venice often included the singing of litanies like that of the Litany of the Blessed Virgin, in which a series of petitions to the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, and to the Virgin in all her guises to ‘pray for us’ is framed by an initial Kyrie and a concluding Agnus Dei. The music used in processional litanies would have been of the simplest kind only—usually plainsong. A complex setting like Gabrieli’s for eight voices, might have been used for devotional purposes by a confraternity, or it may have been linked with the annual celebration of the victory over the Turks at the Battle of Lepanto (1571), a moment of the greatest significance in Venetian history and a victory that was attributed by Pope Pius V to the intervention of the Madonna of the Rosary; in Venice it was celebrated by the doge and choir of St Mark’s at the church of Santa Giustina.

from notes by John Whenham © 2012

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