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O rex gloriae

4vv; 1563; Motecta festorum totius anni; 1569; Liber primus motettorum
author of text
Magnificat Antiphon at Second Vespers on the Feast of the Ascension

O rex gloriae is a motet for Ascension and was published initially in the now lost 1563 book Motecta festorum totius anni … but subsequently reprinted elsewhere. The joyful element of the Ascension is what gives this motet its character: the phrase ‘qui triumphator hodie super omnes caelos’, for example, is given pointed emphasis by being resonantly set in homophony after the consistently contrapuntal texture of the music up to that point. The phrase is nevertheless then developed contrapuntally and dominates the central part of the motet. This is dramatically followed by the other face of the Ascension—Christ’s parting from mankind—in the semitonally inflected phrase at ‘ne derelinquas nos orphanos’ which is subsequently echoed then varied, inverted, and expanded before a return to the triumphant mood at the final ‘Alleluia’.

from notes by Ivan Moody © 1989


Palestrina: Missa O rex gloriae & Missa Viri Galilaei
CDH55335Archive Service


Track 8 on CDH55335 [3'33] Archive Service

Track-specific metadata for CDH55335 track 8

Recording date
24 June 1988
Recording venue
Westminster Cathedral, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Mark Brown
Recording engineer
Antony Howell
Hyperion usage
  1. Palestrina: Missa O rex gloriae & Missa Viri Galilaei (CDA66316)
    Disc 1 Track 8
    Release date: May 1989
    Deletion date: October 2007
    Superseded by CDH55335
  2. Palestrina: Missa O rex gloriae & Missa Viri Galilaei (CDH55335)
    Disc 1 Track 8
    Release date: May 2010
    Deletion date: July 2014
    Archive Service
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