Thomas Crecquillon (c.1505/10–1557) was best known in his lifetime as Court Composer to the Emperor Charles V, probably the most prestigious job of its kind, and one which Morales himself dearly wanted. They both applied for it in 1540; after being appointed Crecquillon stayed there until 1550 when he retired. Andreas Christi famulus was written for the 1546 meeting of the Order of the Golden Fleece, of which St Andrew (‘Andreas’ of the title) was the patron saint. This meeting probably took place in Utrecht and is supposed to have been attended by Francis I of France and Henry VIII of England as well as Charles V: the first performance of this motet was therefore a most august occasion. To emphasise the importance of Saint Andrew, Crecquillon, in the second half of the motet, gives the second tenor an independent line of music with its own text. This generates the emotional heart of the setting, which ends in a sustained burst of the most sonorous praise.
from notes by Peter Phillips © 2000