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Gaude Virgo, Mater Christi

By Josquin des Prez

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SATB choir a cappella (SATB choir a cappella)
Composed by Josquin des Prez (1440-1521). Edited by Holland Jancaitis and Simon Carrington. Octavo. Alliance Music Publications #AMP 0680. Published by Alliance Music Publications (AN.AMP-0680).

Item Number: AN.AMP-0680

Des Prez/Jancaitis.

Editorial Note:
While the late Renaissance was crowded with composers contending for the title of most significant composer, the middle Renaissance has one clear master who rises above all others: Josquin des Prez.

Gaude virgo mater Christi is unusual among Josquin's works in that its voicing matches well with the distribution of the modern mixed-voice choir.

The text of this rarely-set Marian sequence is strictly metric, consisting of six verses of three lines with 8, 8, and 7 syllables each. The first five verses begin with the imperative Gaude (rejoice), while the last ends in perenni gaudio (in everlasting joy).

The motet begins with two verses of paired imitation, after which all four parts combine. A striking moment of text painting occurs on the word ascendente as a two-octave scale rises from the basses through the altos.

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