In this piece the essential idea of the polytextual motet is carried to its limit. Here are three separate poems which speak of two different subjects in two different languages. Since the note-values of the Tenor are fairly long relative to those of the upper parts, there is a ‘pedal’ effect in many measures. There is a very clear contrast in the piece between a first section, where all the voices phrase together, and a second, where the phrases overlap and we sense that each part is struggling for mastery. The strategic placing of the penultimate dissonance—in this case an added sixth—produces a striking effect.
from notes by ©