The celebrated motet Dum complerentur
was published in the Liber primus motettorum
, containing works for five to seven voices, printed at Rome in 1569. It is a vivid pictorial evocation of the ‘rushing wind’ of Pentecost, the sudden outpouring of the Holy Spirit described in the Acts of the Apostles. Palestrina uses the repeated ‘Alleluias’ of the text as a cue for a flowing musical figure precisely suggestive of this, and the exultant abundance of musical ideas during the course of the motet—each phrase has its own distinctive musical motive—similarly reflects the Spirit ‘blowing where it listeth’.
from notes by Ivan Moody © 2003