Hyperion Records

Missa Ascendetis post filium
6vv; based on the eponymous motet by Jacobus Vaet
author of text
Ordinary of the Mass

'Music for the Court of Maximilian II' (CDA67579)
Music for the Court of Maximilian II
Movement 1: Kyrie
Movement 2: Gloria
Movement 3: Credo
Movement 4: Sanctus & Benedictus
Movement 5: Agnus Dei

Missa Ascendetis post filium
In Missa Ascendetis post filium, the most obvious motif of Vaet’s motet is the scalic theme that opens the piece: Galli makes heavy use of this material, opening each of the first three movements with it. As well as its linear qualities, designed around the motet text ‘you will go up after my son’, this theme has a distinctive harmonic twist caused by the juxtaposition of E flat and E natural in the second bar: its appearances are thus highly audible, especially since its statements are usually repeated, being passed from upper to lower voices. In the later movements of his Mass, Galli varies the motif, breaking it down into smaller scalic passages in the Sanctus, and in the Agnus creating a new and more dissonant texture.

Another important element of Vaet’s motet that takes centre stage in Galli’s imitation Mass is the use of triple time. Although Galli must have been older than Vaet (his first documented adult employment dates from Vaet’s infancy), the ways in which he employs triple time in the Mass setting are quite modern, and reminiscent of Vaet’s great contemporary, Lassus. Whereas Galli’s immediate predecessors and contemporaries, writing in the 1530s and ’40s, tended to cast the great majority of their music in duple time, turning to triple metre only for the Osanna movements, the later practice of Lassus was to shift quite frequently between the two, especially in the later sections of the Credo, where Trinitarian theology is to the fore. Lassus would often set only the word ‘resurrectionem’ in triple time, reverting to duple for the following ‘mortuorum’ (2 ‘and I look for’, 3 ‘the resurrection’, 2 ‘of the dead’); whereas Galli does not approach this degree of flexibility, he does set small sections in triple metre, such as ‘cuius regni non erit finis’ (‘whose kingdom shall have no end’). Moreover, he adopts in such sections one of the most memorably rhythmical phrases of Vaet’s motet, where the words ‘quam fuerit solium domini mei regis’ (‘[greater] than was the throne of my lord the king’) are set homophonically and in syncopation: the same or similar rhythms are adopted by Galli for ‘catholicam et apostolicam’ (‘catholic and apostolic [Church]’). In general Galli’s music illustrates how, despite their shared Netherlandish heritage, different composers could develop in differing ways stylistically, depending on their environment; thus Galli is to be distinguished from his contemporaries Clemens (based in the North), Thomas Crecquillon (at the Spanish Habsburg court) and Adrian Willaert (at St Mark’s, Venice).

from notes by Stephen Rice © 2007

Track-specific metadata
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Details for CDA67579 track 3
Recording date
19 June 2006
Recording venue
Dominikanerkirche, Retz, Austria
Recording producer
Stephen Rice
Recording engineer
Markus Wallner
Hyperion usage
  1. Music for the Court of Maximilian II (CDA67579)
    Disc 1 Track 3
    Release date: February 2007
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