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Sanctus de Passione

4vv; NJE 13.9
author of text

The final two pieces on this recording are free-standing Mass movements, both published by Ottaviano Petrucci in 1505 in the intriguing print Fragmenta missarum (RISM 1505 1). Whereas polyphonic settings of individual movements (and pairs) had been more common than complete cycles in the earlier part of the fifteenth century, the cyclic Mass had stabilized in content, becoming the dominant genre by the beginning of Josquin’s career; his compositional contribution to it—building on the work of Du Fay, Ockeghem and others—constitutes a major part of his legacy. The few individual movements that survive with attributions to Josquin have been comparatively neglected, though they shed an interesting light on (presumably) his earlier years.

The Sanctus de Passione (13.9) is described as ‘unpretentious’ by Elders but is generally considered authentic, not least because the central section, ‘Honor et benedictio’, is also found as part of Josquin’s motet Qui velatus facie fuisti, published by Petrucci two years previously (in Motetti B: RISM 1503 1). In the context of the Sanctus, this twenty-eight-bar chordal interpolation between Sanctus and Benedictus is to be understood as an Elevation motet: the scholarly consensus is that either it or the Benedictus would have been performed liturgically, but not both. For the purposes of a recording, however, it makes sense to sing all the music printed in Fragmenta missarum: liturgical purists are of course at liberty to skip one or other of the two tracks. The ‘Pleni’ and ‘Benedictus’ duet verses are identical except for octave transposition.

from notes by Stephen Rice © 2021


Josquin: Motets & Mass movements
Studio Master: CDA68321Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available


Part 1: Sanctus
Track 19 on CDA68321 [1'45]
Part 2: Honor et benedictio
Track 20 on CDA68321 [0'57]
Part 3: Benedictus
Track 21 on CDA68321 [1'04]

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