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Salve regina a 5

author of text
Antiphon to the Virgin Mary from Trinity until Advent

The notable and long-lived popularity of the ostinato technique among Spanish composers of the Golden Age may itself be traced to the influence of Josquin, and most importantly perhaps to Josquin’s five-voice setting of the Marian antiphon Salve regina. The fame of this work in sixteenth-century Spain is exemplified by its being given pride of place in a book of music for the Marian ‘Salve’ services at Seville Cathedral compiled in 1550, preceding settings by such composers as Morales and Guerrero. Josquin’s motet is a tour de force of skilful imitative counterpoint, while also incorporating the famous ‘Salve regina’ chant in two distinct ways: the whole chant melody is presented in decorated form in the topmost voice, and its opening four-note motive (setting the first word, ‘Salve’) appears as an ostinato in the second voice from the top, alternating between two pitch-levels. It hence serves—as the ‘gaudeamus’ motto does in Morales’s Jubilate Deo and Victoria’s Missa Gaudeamus—as a powerful unifying element. But rather than simply ensuring unity through the device, Josquin tellingly manipulates its relationships to the free voices, so that it sometimes functions as a subtle background force steering the harmony or leading the music to cadence points, while at other moments it is spotlighted for expressive effect, as for example at the beginning of the final part of the motet, ‘Et Jesum benedictum’.

from notes by Owen Rees © 2020


Victoria, Guerrero & Morales: Salve Salve Salve
Studio Master: SIGCD608Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available


Track 11 on SIGCD608 [8'08] Download only

Track-specific metadata for SIGCD608 track 11

Recording date
15 March 2019
Recording venue
The Church of St Michael and All Angels, Summertown, Oxford, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Adrian Peacock
Recording engineer
David Hinitt
Hyperion usage
  1. Victoria, Guerrero & Morales: Salve Salve Salve (SIGCD608)
    Disc 1 Track 11
    Release date: January 2020
    Download only
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