G.PierLuigi, da PALESTRINA (1525-1596)
Missa Æterna Christi Munera, 1590 - Missa brevis, 1570 - Mottetti: Alma Redemptoris Mater, Super Flumina Babylonis, Sicut Cervus, Dies Sanctificatus, O Bone Jesu
The Missa Æterna Christi Munera for 4 voices, the first of the series, is often performed for its brevity, simplicity and variety. It belongs to the Liber Quintus Missarum, composed in 1590 and dedicated to Duke Wilhelm V of Bavaria; the collection consists of 8 masses--4 for 4 voices, 2 for 5 and 2 for 6. Written in the fifth mode (with one flat in the key signature), this composition follows the style of the cyclical mass (antiphonal or hymnal), so called because of the recurring themes, drawn from an antiphon or hymn, which appear throughout the entire composition, each time transfigured and molded to express best the characteristics of the piece. This mass is based on the Gregorian chant of the Morning Hymn from the Feast of the Apostles (Commune Apostolorum). Palestrina created various themes from this melody which may be found throughout the composition and which give it great expression and unity. There follows a series of motets chosen from his best-known works, which are linked to the most important feasts of the liturgical year.