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Prophetarum maxime

author of text
quoting John 1: 29, Isaiah 49: 2 and various Antiphons for the Feast of the Nativity of St John the Baptist

The motet Prophetarum maxime celebrates St John the Baptist, patron saint of the city. His importance in Florence is emphasized by the splendour of the Baptistery. This octagonal structure stands opposite the cathedral entrance, and Ghiberti’s famous bronze doors are on the exterior, while lustrous gold mosaics adorn the interior. Florentines celebrated the feast of St John on 24 June, starting with morning Mass in the Baptistery church; here Isaac’s motet was probably sung. It celebrates the city’s patron with melodic subjects that declaim the words clearly in repeated notes and ascending lines. The concluding texts are drawn from the liturgy of St John, including antiphons for Matins and Vespers. Isaac quotes the appropriate chant melody, either in the top voice, where it is clearly audible, or in all voices in imitative entries.

from notes by Patrick Macey © 2022


The Florentine Renaissance
CDA68349 Available Friday 7 January 2022


Track 13 on CDA68349 [6'48] Available Friday 7 January 2022

Track-specific metadata for CDA68349 track 13

Recording date
9 January 2020
Recording venue
Parish Church of St John the Baptist, Loughton, Essex, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Mark Brown
Recording engineer
Ben Connellan
Hyperion usage
  1. The Florentine Renaissance (CDA68349)
    Disc 1 Track 13
    Release date: 7 January 2022
    Available Friday 7 January 2022
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