30 March 2011 Melody Gilbert Music of the Renaissance notes: Palestrina the composer: 105 Masses 250 motets Several volumes of other sacred music: Offertories, Litanies, hymns, Magnificats and Lamentations. Two books of madrigals and two of spiritual madrigals Picture: Palestrina?s most famous composition, Pope Marcellus Mass (Kyrie) Palestrina and Council of Trent (1545-63) Palestrina?s career coincides with Catholic Counter Reformation: attempt by Catholic Church to turn the tide of the Protestant Reformation One of the major events of the Catholic Counter Reformation: Council of Trent (1545-63) Lassus: composer of international reputation during the sixteenth century Orlando de Lassus (1532-1594) Known variously as: In Italian: Orlando di Lasso In French: Orlande de Lassus Josquin: music-text relationship With Josquin, music enters a new phase in terms of music-text relationship A contemporary of Josquin?s said he possessed the ability of ?suiting the music to the meaning of the words, expressing the power of each different emotion, making the things of the text so vivid that they seem to stand actually before our eyes.? What impact does this have on our listening experience, especially compared to all previous music encountered in this class? Josquin?s Ave Maria Josquin Desprez Date of Composition: most likely 1480?s Type of composition: 4 voice motet Marian Motet: a motet honoring the Virgin Mary Cantus firmus relationship? :preexisting chant honoring Virgin Mary Used only at start of the work Text: rhymed poem comprising a couplet, 5 quatrains, and a closing couplet Cantus firmus used in Ave Maria. Josquin employs the cantus firmus technique only at start of the motet. Rest of the composition ?free.? Significance? One possible reason: Josquin wants to make reference to a ?Marian? chant, but after opening snippet, wants to compose an entirely original work. The melody is not placed in the tenor, but in the soprano line. Opening compositional gesture in Josquin?s Ave Maria. Known as Point of Imitation. But what is that? Continuous imitation, with voice entries at regular intervals. (Later inspires Fugues) Stretto-overlapping entrances Formal design of Josquin?s text 2 couplets: one at start, one at end. Couplet = 2 rhymed lines 5 quatrains. Quatrains= 4 rhymed lines Composition concludes with word ?Amen? Josquin?s music flawlessly matches text structure Opening couplet, in turn comprised of 4 interval clauses, matched by 4 points of imitation First point of imitation mm. 1-10: S, A, T, B Second point of imitation mm 8-17: S, A, T, B Third point of imitation mm 16-26: S, A, T, B Fourth point of imitation mm 23-31: A, S, T, B With start of 2nd quatrain, new compositional strategy: Instead of imitation, ?voice pairing.? S-A starting in m. 31 engage in voice pairing homophony and, after opening unison, do so largely in glorious thirds. Thirds, from this time on in music history, used to suggest ?purity.? This matches the text very well, in that the Virgin gives birth to Jesus in ?purity.? Another new compositional strategy starting at m. 40 Notice that first 2 beats of m. 40 punctuated by silence in all 4 voices. Silence commands our attention and is dramatic. M. 40, last part of measure, all four voices sing in block homophony. In so doing, bring to life words ?full of solemn joy.? Vivid text painting beginning at m. 44 At words ?coelestia?-?heaven? notice that Josquin obliges with an ascending melodic sequence Sequence is most easily seen in bass, mm. 44 (beats 3-4) to 50: notice how the melodic line rises higher and higher literally filling ?heaven? with new rejoicing.? New compositional strategy beginning m. 54; this coincides with start of second quatrain. S-A gets first line of new quatrain; T-B gets second line of quatrain. Imitation with paired voices (top 2 voices answered by bottom 2). Totally new compositional strategy m. 94 At words ?Ave vera virginitas, immaculate castitas?- ?Hail, true virginity, undefiled chastity,? music moves to triple time, or ?perfect time? At same time, clear declamation of text and homorhythmic (block) texture Duple time returns m. 109 Although open to interpretation, likely switched back to duple time because subject is humanity who require purity of the Virgin?s deed to be ?cleansed.? Concluding couplet singled out for special treatment Concluding couplet approached by dramatic full measure of silence, m. 142 To block homophony, all 4 voices declaim text ?O Mother of God, remember me? m. 143 Josquin?s compositional strategy founded on idea of something being very memorable First word of couplet ?O? set to whole note Next two words, ?Ma-ter? (mother) set to two half notes In m. 145, S reaches highest note of work, high F, sustained with whole note; A also reaches it?s highest note of high A M. 145-146 decorate with faster note values the cadence that occurs in m. 146 M. 147, after being punctuated by a half bar of silence, all 4 voices simultaneously declaim text in long notes Mm. 1520155: ?Amen? All 4 voices, at the rhythmic rate of double whole note, declaim word ?Amen? Final sonority is C, G, C, C: note how hallow it sounds given that it lacks the third (E); hallow sound matches seriousness, or ?gravitas? (to use an apt Italian word, of the piece and aptly concludes it. G, highest note of chord, stands out with special intensity). *** Also same chord at cadences
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