This Magnificat is one of five which Palestrina wrote in Tone 4. He set the text of the Magnificat, in fact, no fewer than thirty-five times; sixteen of them appeared in the Magnificat octo tonum liber primus
published in Rome in 1591. It is a pity indeed that they are nowadays somewhat little known, for they are quintessential Palestrina: the servant of the Church quietly writing magnificent music which speaks directly to mankind even—and perhaps especially—today.
from notes by Ivan Moody © 1999