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Ecce sacerdos magnus

WAB13; 1885; celebrating the 1000th anniversary of the founding of the Linz diocese
author of text
Common of a Confessor Bishop

Ecce sacerdos magnus begins with an uncompromising open fifth and, throughout, there are violent harmonic shifts, often of a tertiary nature. Dynamics range widely and rapidly, creating moments of high drama—most memorably when the trebles rise to a top B flat, a twice-repeated gesture that gives Ecce sacerdos a rondo-like structure. The scoring, too—eight-part choir, three trombones and organ—is unusually opulent for a motet, though it almost certainly reflects the text, a responsory associated with the entrance of a bishop. However, the instrumental parts, as in many Cecilian compositions, tend to reinforce rather than complement the voices. And there are other hints of reformist practices: the ‘Gloria Patri’, for example, starts with a fragment of Gregorian chant presented by all voices in rhythmically fixed form. Like Virga Jesse, Ecce sacerdos was written in 1885 to mark the centenary of the diocese of Linz. However, the premiere took place in 1912, shortly after the motet’s first publication.

from notes by Martin Ennis © 2020


Brahms & Bruckner: Motets
Studio Master: SIGCD430Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Bruckner: Mass in E minor & motets
Studio Master: KGS0035-DDownload onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Bruckner: Motets


Track 6 on CDA66062 [5'05]
Track 3 on SIGCD430 [6'34] Download only
Track 1 on KGS0035-D [6'04] Download only

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