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O altitudo divitiarum
5vv; Il Terzo Libro di Motetti a Cinque Voci, published by Antonio Gardane in Venice in 1549
author of text
Romans 11: 33-36

'Rore: Missa Doulce mémoire & Missa a note negre' (CDA67913)
Rore: Missa Doulce mémoire & Missa a note negre
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O altitudo divitiarum
The motets O altitudo divitiarum and Fratres: Scitote both set words of St Paul, of a contemplative nature. The first is a meditation on the divinity and wisdom of God, which humans cannot fathom. The high imitative style of the Low Countries seems appropriate for such an elevated topic, with slow-moving suspensions and passing notes illustrating the difficulty with which our minds strive to comprehend the magnificence of the Almighty. Towards the end of the piece, the full texture is mustered for a concerted statement ‘For of him and through him …’ but counterpoint is thereafter reasserted until the final Amen. For once Rore’s technique is used in the service of a meditative rather than an exegetical response to the text.

from notes by Stephen Rice © 2013

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