Peeters, organist of St Rombout’s Cathedral, Malines, taught at the Lemmens Institute in Malines, and in 1952 became Director of the Antwerp Conservatoire. The Missa Festiva
, the best known of Peeters’ nine Masses, shows the clear influence of Jongen in its approach to melodic development but is independent of Jongen in other ways, notably its more direct use of modality. The cyclical nature of Peeters’ melodic material demonstrates the link: the Gregorian motif, as if a psalm-tone, heard at the opening of the Kyrie recurs at the ‘Qui propter nos homines’ (Credo) and at the start of the Agnus Dei, for instance, and the rhythm initially established for this psalm-tone motif appears frequently, often modified, but notably at the beginning of the Credo. In the latter, the newly formed theme becomes another cyclical cell, appearing not only at the recapitulation (‘Et in Spiritum Sanctum Dominum’) but also at the ‘Qui tollis’ (Gloria) and in the accompaniment to the Agnus Dei.
from notes by John Scott Whiteley © 2007