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Missa Viri Galilaei

composer
6vv; 1601; Missarum liber duodecimus, Venice
author of text
Ordinary of the Mass

 
The Mass on Viri Galilaei makes relatively little use of the homophonic writing of its model (perhaps strange when one considers the extent of its use in the motet), exploring instead the contrapuntal possibilities inherent in the scalic figures of the motet’s ‘Alleluia’—these appear early in the Kyrie. When reference is made to the static passages of the motet, it tends to be of an inexact nature, though it is always entirely clear. This is the case with the Kyrie’s reference to ‘Hic Jesus’: the reminiscence is quite detectable, but the counterpoint is more developed.

As with the four-part Missa O rex gloriae, there is a scalic point to highlight ‘Jesu Christe’ in the Gloria, though here it is even more pronounced and remarkable in the context of the surrounding stasis. The contrasting of different groups of voices is also carried over into the Mass, particularly in the Gloria and Credo in which the volume of text demands contrast. The meditative quartet at the ‘Crucifixus’ is particularly beautiful, seeming to contain the essence of the text of the Creed. The Agnus Dei is in a similar vein, being a calm remembrance of the motet, but turning the original descending scales into ascending ones.

from notes by Ivan Moody 1989

Recordings

Palestrina: Missa O rex gloriae & Missa Viri Galilaei
CDH55335Archive Service

Details

Movement 1: Kyrie
Track 3 on CDH55335 [4'55] Archive Service
Movement 2: Gloria
Track 4 on CDH55335 [5'41] Archive Service
Movement 3: Credo
Track 5 on CDH55335 [9'55] Archive Service
Movement 4: Sanctus and Benedictus
Track 6 on CDH55335 [7'25] Archive Service
Movement 5: Agnus Dei
Track 7 on CDH55335 [5'16] Archive Service

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