The magnificent seventeen-part setting in four choirs of Exultet iam angelica turba
is a motet to accompany the lighting of the Easter candle in the early hours of Easter morning. A fourteen-part version was published in Gabrieli’s 1615 Symphoniae sacrae
. The seventeen-part version survives only in a manuscript in Kassel, Germany, with the three extra parts added by an unknown hand: this is designated as Choir 4, to be sung in a ‘palchetto’—as in one of the nicchie of St Mark’s.
from notes by John Whenham © 2012