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Illibata Dei virgo nutrix

author of text
possibly by Josquin

Illibata Dei virgo nutrix sets a Marian text written possibly by Josquin himself—the text of the prima pars forms the acrostic ‘IOSQVIN Des PREZ’. Illibata is an intensely structured work and features extended duets which go on to combine with a cantus firmus of la–mi–la, a soggetto cavato. This technique, pioneered by Josquin and named by the Venetian music theorist Gioseffo Zarlino, involves the creation of a musical subject literally ‘carved’ from the vowels of a word or phrase (here from ‘Maria’) and turned into the pitches of Guido d’Arezzo’s notational ‘solmization’ technique: ‘Maria’ → ‘a i a’ → ‘la mi la’. Josquin also famously used this technique for his Missa Hercules Dux Ferrarie, presumably written during his time at Ferrara and dedicated to Duke Ercole I.

from notes by Guy James © 2021


Josquin's legacy
CDA68379 Available Friday 29 October 2021


Part 1: Illibata Dei virgo nutrix
Track 12 on CDA68379 [3'50] Available Friday 29 October 2021
Part 2: Ave virginum decus hominum
Track 13 on CDA68379 [1'47] Available Friday 29 October 2021
Part 3: Ave Maria, mater virtutum
Track 14 on CDA68379 [1'33] Available Friday 29 October 2021

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