Like his younger brother Giovanni, Felice Anerio was a composer and priest whose sacred music follows closely in the tradition of Palestrina. Born in Rome, he sang as a boy in the choir of S. Maria Maggiore, and then in the papal Cappella Giulia under Palestrina. On the death of the latter in 1594 he was appointed composer to the papal choir, for which he wrote masses, motets, and other polyphonic music. Christus factus est
, perhaps his best-known piece, does not appear in any of the volumes of his work published in his lifetime; the earliest extant source dates from 1840, and all others derive from it. The chromatic harmonic touches may have been added by the nineteenth-century editor; if not, it shows an influence of early baroque madrigal style not found in Palestrina.
from notes by Collegium Records © 2009