by contrast is an early work, based on a motet which was published in the composer’s First Book of Motets in 1569. By contrast with the trumpet-like writing of Assumpta est Maria
, the musical style here is more for string quartet, or viol consort: lucid, the working of the counterpoint at times very elaborate indeed. This can be heard at the beginning of the motet, where the point is treated to two complete expositions, from where it is transferred to the first Kyrie. Eventually all the movements except the Gloria open with imitative counterpoint. But underlying all this finely crafted polyphony is the perfumed atmosphere which the words of the motet (from the Song of Songs) originally inspired in Palestrina, and which, despite the long sentences of the Gloria and Creed, he managed to transfer to every corner of the Mass itself.
from notes by Peter Phillips © 2005