The opening duet of Motetus and Tenor shows how much delicious and carefully controlled counterpoint there is to be found in the two-part writing of the motet repertoire. Notice how the Tenor (here vocalized, as are all the Tenors on this recording) moves in very similar note values to the Motetus and often lies above it in pitch. The Motetus shows motet melody at its best: generously filling the best part of the voice, and full of lilt. When the Triplum enters the composer’s scheme becomes clear, for this motet begins farily low in the two voices and then, towards the middle, moves its whole tessitura up a minor third and seems to linger there in that suspended way so characteristic of the motet. A pungent and sustained dissonance of a minor second, quite unlike anything else in the piece, prepares the final cadence.
from notes by Christopher Page © 1990