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Missa Gaudeamus

based on Morales' Jubilate Deo omnis terra, itself based on the chant Gaudeamus omnes; published in 1585 by Dominico Basa, Rome
author of text
Ordinary of the Mass

The prestige which Morales’s Jubilate Deo omnis terra acquired through the prominent political and festive context of its composition and first performance, and the rhetorical power of the 'Gaudeamus' ostinato motif it employs, were exploited several decades later by another Spanish composer, Tomás Luis de Victoria, who wrote a ‘parody’ Mass—the Missa Gaudeamus—based on the material from Morales’s work, and incorporating the ‘gaudeamus’ ostinato theme. Victoria included the Missa Gaudeamus in a grand manuscript choirbook presented to Toledo Cathedral, and also published it—in a significantly different version: the one recorded here—in his first book of Masses, printed in Venice in 1576. The work represents an early-career act of homage to Victoria’s most famous Spanish predecessor, Morales, but it also invited the well informed purchaser of Victoria’s book to recall the celebrated previous composer of a Missa Gaudeamus, Josquin, and therefore to view Victoria as successor to both Morales and Josquin. Victoria, indeed, fashioned explicit links between his Mass and Josquin’s, beyond the ‘gaudeamus’ motto itself. As had Josquin, Victoria shines the spotlight on the ‘gaudeamus’ theme in his final Agnus Dei by assigning the ostinato statements of it to a top voice as well as to a tenor. And as had Josquin, Victoria saturates this concluding section of his Mass with overlapping entries of the motto: he arranges the superius and tenor ostinato statements in canon, so that the motto is (for the first time in his Mass) continually present, and he dramatises the first canonic entry of the tenor by bringing in all three lower voice parts simultaneously as the tenor begins its ‘gaudeamus’. He also calls attention to the motto here by giving it not the Agnus Dei text but its original ‘gaudeamus’. The same occurs in Victoria’s Kyrie, so that listeners and singers are alerted to the motto as his Mass begins. Admittedly, for much of the Mass the ostinato motif is relatively hidden: it is assigned almost entirely to the Altus parts in the middle of the texture, and these voices use the motto to sing whatever text the other voices are declaiming at that point. As a result, the motto’s presence can often be sensed only indirectly, such as in the influence which it has on the surrounding harmony or by re-using the material which Morales weaves around it: the imposing cadential gesture which ends the first part of Morales’s motet is retained by Victoria for all three statements of the motto in his first Kyrie. But for the closing bars of that Kyrie section and of the two longest movements Victoria ostentatiously ‘reveals’ his motto theme, drawing back the curtain and presenting it triumphantly in the topmost voices—reaching to their peak notes—to mark the words ‘in gloria Dei Patris’ (‘in the glory of God the Father’) in the Gloria and ‘et vitam venturi saeculi’ (‘and the life of the world to come’) in the Credo. Through such gestures, Victoria reveals himself to be a masterful orator in the tradition of Josquin.

Victoria bound his Mass together not only through the ostinato but through ubiquitous quotation of the opening ‘Jubilate Deo’ motif of Morales’s motet, and he also selected one extended block of music from that motet—the beginning of the second part, ‘O felix aetas, O felix Paule’—to quote more or less intact in two places in the Mass. This is the telling moment in Morales’s work where the singers, having invited all to rejoice in the meeting of Paul, Charles, and Francis and the achievement of peace, sing directly to these three: ‘O vos felices principes’ (’O you happy princes’). Morales here wrote a passage of majestic simplicity, taking as his model a passage from a Marian motet by Josquin (Inviolata, integra, et casta es Maria). Victoria in turn deployed this music for the most solemn part of his Mass text, ‘Et incarnatus est de Spiritu Sancto’ (‘and became incarnate by the Holy Spirit’) in the Credo, and then transformed it into the joyful ‘Hosanna’ which follows the Benedictus. Thus Victoria is—as more generally in his decision to write a Missa Gaudeamus—looking back to Josquin via Morales.

from notes by Owen Rees © 2020

La Missa Gaudeamus de Victoria repose sur un motet de Morales, Iubilate Deo omnis terra, écrit en 1538 pour célébrer la fin des hostilités entre François Ier et Charles Quint, grâce à la médiation du pape Paul III, qui les persuada de se rencontrer et de signer un traité à Nice. Dans ce motet et dans la messe, les deux compositeurs font largement appel à la première phrase de l’Introït, Gaudeamus omnes—«Réjouissons-nous»—comme cantus firmus, phrase sur laquelle ils construisent leur musique. Gaudeamus omnes est l’un des éléments du propre de la messe. Les propres de la messe sont d’anciennes formes de la liturgie de la messe qui varient selon la date et/ou la saison du calendrier liturgique; ils peuvent s’insérer entre les parties de l’ordinaire de la messe, qui constituent les éléments fixes de la messe tels qu’ils ont été établis à une époque ultérieure.

extrait des notes rédigées par Jon Dixon © 2009
Français: Marie-Stella Pâris

Victorias Missa Gaudeamus basiert auf der Motette Iubilate Deo omnis terra von Morales, die 1583 zur Feier der Waffenruhe zwischen François I. und Charles V. geschrieben wurde, die durch die Vermittlung von Papst Paul III. erreicht wurde, der die beiden überredet hatte, sich in Nizza zu treffen und einen Vertrag zu unterzeichnen. In der Motette wie in der Messe verwenden die beiden Komponisten vielfach die Anfangsphrase des Introitus Gaudeamus omnes—„Lasst uns frohlocken“—als Cantus firmus, auf dem sie ihre Musik aufbauen. Gaudeamus omnes ist eine Proprium-Messe. Proprium-Messen sind eine ältere Form der Messliturgie, die sich je nach Datum und/oder Jahreszeit des liturgischen Kalenders ändern, und die zwischen die Sätze des Messordinariums, den unveränderlichen Sätzen der Messe, die sich später etablierten, eingeschoben werden können.

aus dem Begleittext von Jon Dixon © 2009
Deutsch: Renate Wendel


Victoria: Missa Gaudeamus & other works
Victoria, Guerrero & Morales: Salve Salve Salve
Studio Master: SIGCD608Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available


Movement 1: Kyrie
Track 3 on CDA67748 [4'26]
Track 3 on SIGCD608 [3'58] Download only
Movement 2: Gloria
Track 4 on CDA67748 [7'50]
Track 4 on SIGCD608 [7'00] Download only
Movement 3: Credo
Track 11 on CDA67748 [11'23]
Track 5 on SIGCD608 [11'19] Download only
Movement 4: Sanctus
Track 16 on CDA67748 [3'15]
Movement 4-5: Sanctus and Benedictus
Track 7 on SIGCD608 [5'53] Download only
Movement 5: Benedictus
Track 17 on CDA67748 [2'43]
Movement 6: Agnus Dei
Track 19 on CDA67748 [5'13]
Track 8 on SIGCD608 [4'55] Download only

Track-specific metadata for CDA67748 track 11

Recording date
10 July 2008
Recording venue
Westminster Cathedral, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Mark Brown
Recording engineer
Julian Millard
Hyperion usage
  1. Victoria: Missa Gaudeamus & other works (CDA67748)
    Disc 1 Track 11
    Release date: July 2009
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