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Tota pulchra es

composer
author of text
Song of Songs; antiphon for Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

 
A contemporary of Mundy, Robert White (c1538-1574) was a promising young musician whose life was cut short by a plague epidemic in London. His colleague Robert Dow, who made a personal copy of White’s motets, left an epitaph for him in the manuscript: ‘Greatest glory of our muses, White: you perish, but your muse remains for ever’. Like Mundy, White also set ‘Tota pulchra es’, a colourful text that was traditionally applied to the Virgin Mary. And like Mundy’s Vox Patris caelestis, this piece shows the most unrestrained side of English devotion to the Virgin Mary—and perhaps also to her royal namesake. White’s setting is for six voices in a rather backward-looking style, with the plainsong melody always present in the baritone part and a relatively wide vocal range (F-g’’). The effect is expansive and lyrical, in contrast with the denser texture and continuous points of imitation that feature so prominently in many of White’s psalm-motets.

from notes by Kerry McCarthy 2014

Recordings

Virgin and Child
SIGCD474Download only 3 February 2017 Release
The Tudors at Prayer
Studio Master: CKD447Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available

Details

Track 3 on SIGCD474 [5'30] Download only 3 February 2017 Release
Track 3 on CKD447 [6'48] Download only

Track-specific metadata

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