Movement 1: Kyrie
Movement 2: Gloria
Movement 3: Credo
Movement 4: Sanctus and Benedictus
Movement 5: Agnus Dei
However, it was not Josquin’s idea in the first place to use these notes. According to Glareanus, writing in 1547 (Henricus Glareanus, Dodecachordon, 1547), they originated in mimicry of an unknown potentate who used to send away importunate suitors with the words ‘Lascia fare mi’ (‘Leave it to me’). Whether this is true or not, a number of popular songs of the time were written around the phrase. (In his entry on Josquin, in D.E.U.M.M. (Turin, UTET, 1985, Le biografie, II, p.472), Nino Pirrotta maintains that these five notes were inspired by the words ‘Lassa fare a mi/Non ti curare’ (‘Leave it to me, I’ll deal with it’), which begin a barzelletta attributed to Serafino Aquilano, a friend of Josquin. It appears that Aquilano’s humorous song alludes to Cardinal Ascanio Sforza, his protector, who was known for making promises he could not fulfil.) Apart from basing the tenor on it almost exclusively, Josquin was able to lend it to the other parts in his mass-setting by the technique of initial imitation, for instance in the ‘Christe’ and first ‘Hosanna’. The ‘Pleni sunt’ is imitative throughout. Only once (in the bass part at the end of the ‘Christe’) is the ostinato transposed to begin on D (subsequently necessitating a B flat). Otherwise, in more than two hundred repetitions, it starts on A or E. Perhaps the finest moment comes at the very end of the Agnus Dei (I and III) where the note-lengths of the ostinato become shorter and shorter as the mystical nature of the music intensifies.
from notes by Peter Phillips © 1986