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. Esquivel’s work was copied from his book of motets published in Salamanca in 1608 and is the only item by this composer in the Vila Viçosa archives. The text is from a Responsory for Matins on Holy Saturday which ends with the words ‘si est dolor sicut dolor meus’ – a passage which Esquivel sets extremely expressively, the poignancy heightened by the use of chromaticism.
from notes by Bernadette Nelson © 1996