The texts of Mass for Palm Sunday, which include the Passion according to St Matthew, reflect on the pain and suffering of Christ during his last hours – themes which permeate the texts and ceremonies of the remainder of Holy Week, and which characterize the motets chosen to be sung at Vila Viçosa during the Masses of this week. Alonso Lobo’s Tristis est anima mea
and Juan de Esquivel’s O vos omnes
, for instance, were designated as Offertory motets on Palm Sunday. Lobo’s six-voice setting, inspired by St Matthew’s account of the words of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane, was very popular in Portugal where the only copies of this intense and powerful motet survive.
from notes by Bernadette Nelson © 1996