Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 2.djvu/240

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228
MASS.
 

light-heartedness which would not always submit to control. As a specimen of his best, and most devotional style, we can scarcely do better than quote a few bars from the Osanna of his Mass, Faysans regrés[1]

<< \time 4/2 
\new Staff { \key f \major << \new Voice { \relative d' { \stemUp
  r\breve | r1 r2 d | \set suggestAccidentals = ##t ees4 d g1 fis2 |
  g1 r2 c, | d2. e4 f2 e | f4 e a1 g2 |
  a1 r2 d, | ees2. f4 g2 f | g4 f \set suggestAccidentals = ##f bes1 a2 |
  bes2 g1 a2 ~ | a f \once \set suggestAccidentals = ##t aes2 g ~ | g c1 bes2 | c } }
\new Voice { \relative b {
  r\breve_\markup { \smaller Osanna } | r1 bes | g a |
  g r | r c | a bes |
  a r | r d | bes c |
  bes r | r \once \set suggestAccidentals = ##t ees | c d | c } }
>> }
\new Staff { \clef bass \key f \major << \new Voice { \stemUp
  \set suggestAccidentals = ##t r2 d ees4 d g2 ~ | g fis g1 | s2 ees d1 |
  r2 e f4 e a2 ~ | a f a1 | s2 f g1 |
  \set suggestAccidentals = ##f r2 f g4 f bes2 ~ | bes a bes1 | s2 a4 g f1 |
  g2 \once \set suggestAccidentals = ##t ees'2. d'4 c'2 | s4 a bes2 c'1 ~ | c' r2 g | a }
\new Voice { \relative b, { \stemDown
  bes1 g | a g | r\breve |
  c1 a | bes a | r\breve |
  d1 bes | c bes | r\breve |
  \once \set suggestAccidentals = ##t ees1 c | d c | r\breve | f1 } } >> }
>>

The religious character of this movement is apparent, from the very first bar; and the ingenuity with which the strict Canon is carried on, between the Bass and Alto, simultaneously with the Fugue between the Tenor and Treble, is quite forgotten in the unexpected beauty of the resulting harmonies. Perhaps some portion of the beauty of our next example—the Benedictus from the Missa 'L'Homme armé'—may be forgotten in its ingenuity. It is a strict Canon, in the Unison, by Diminution; and, though intended to be sung by two Voices, is printed in one part only, the singer being left to find out the secret of its construction as best he can—

A hint at the solution of this ænigma is given, to the initiated, by the double Time-signature at the beginning. [See Inscription.] The intention is, that it should be sung by two Bas Voices, in unison, both beginning at the same time, but one singing the notes twice as quickly as the other: thus—

This diversity of Rhythm is, however, a very simple matter, compared with many other complications in the same Mass, and still more, in the Missa 'Didadi,' which abounds in strange proportions of Time, Mode, and Prolation, the clue whereto is afforded by the numbers shewn on the faces of a pair of dice! Copious extracts from these curious Masses, as well as from others by Gombert, Clemens non Papa, Mouton, Brumel, and other celebrated Composers, both of this, and the preceding Epoch, will be found in the 'Dodecachordon' of Glareanus (Basle, 154?}, a work which throws more light than almost any other on the mysteries of antient counterpoint.

Of the numerous Composers who flourished during the Fourth Epoch—that is to say, during the first half of the 16th century—a large proportion aimed at nothing higher than a servile imitation of the still idolised Josquin; and, as is usual under such circumstances, succeeded in reproducing his faults much more frequently than his virtues. There were, however, many honourable exceptions. The Masses of Carpentrasso, Morales, Cipriano di Rore, Vincenzo Ruffo, Claude Goudimel, Adriano Willaert, and, notably, Costanzo Festa, are unquestionably written in a far purer and more flowing style than those of their predecessors: and even the great army of Madrigal writers, headed by Archadelt, and Verdelot, helped on the good cause bravely, in the face of a host of charlatans whose caprices tended only to bring their Art into disrepute. Not content with inventing ænigmas 'Ad omnem tonum,' or 'Ung demiton plus bas'—with colouring their notes green, when they sang of grass, or red, when allusion was made to blood—these corrupters of taste prided themselves upon adapting, to the several voice-parts for which they wrote, different sets of words, totally unconnected with each other; and this evil custom spread so widely, that Morales himself did not scruple to

  1. The accidentals in this, and the following examples, are all supplied in accordance with the laws of Cantus fictus.