Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 2.djvu/387

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

many were lost through the carelessness of the Maestro's son, Igino. The entire contents of the seven printed volumes, together with seventy-two of the Motets hitherto existing only in MS., have already been issued as a first instalment of the complete edition of Palestrina's works now in course of publication by Messrs. Breitkopf & Härtel of Leipzig; and this, probably, is as many as we can now hope for, as it is well known that some of the MS. copies we have mentioned are incomplete. Among so many gems, it is difficult to select any number for special notice. Perhaps the finest of all are those printed in the Fourth Book of Motets for five Voices, the words of which are taken from the Book of Canticles: but, the two Books of simpler compositions for four Voices are full of treasures. Some are marvels of contrapuntal cleverness; others—where the character of the words is more than usually solemn—as unpretending as the plainest Faux bourdon. As an example of the more elaborate style, we transcribe a few bars of 'Sicut cervus desiderat,' contrasting them with a lovely passage from 'Fratres ego enim accepi,' a Motet for eight Voices, in which the Institution of the Last Supper is illustrated by simple harmonies of indescribable beauty.

Sicut cervus.

{ << \new Staff { \time 4/2 \key f \major <<
\new Voice { \relative f' { \stemUp R\breve*3 r1 f ^~
  f f g f2 c f2. g4 a2 a 
  bes1 a2 g | a c2. bes4 a2 | a g a1 } }
\new Voice { \relative c' { \stemDown R\breve*2 c\breve c1 d 
  c2 a d2. c4 | d2 e f1 c c2 d ~
  d4 c d e f2 e f1 e r r } } >> }
\new Staff { \clef bass \key f \major <<
\new Voice { \stemUp f\breve f1 g f2 c f2. g4 a2 a bes1
  a2 f bes2. a4 bes2 c' a1 ^~ a r
  r c' ^~ c' c' d' c'2 f^"etc." }
\new Voice = "B" { \stemDown R\breve*5 r1 f ~ f f
  g f2 c | f2. g4 a2 a bes1 a2 a } >> }
\new Lyrics \lyricsto "B" { Si -- cut Cor -- vus de -- si -- de -- rat ad for -- tos. } >> }

Fratres ego.

{ \override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f << \new Staff { \time 4/2 \key f \major \partial 2 <<
\new Voice { \relative b' { \stemUp b2 | c2. c4 c2 c | d1 c2 f | e2. d4 cis2 d ~ 
  d cis d a b2. b4 c2 c c1 d2 bes
  a2. g4 fis2 g ^~ g fis g1 | s2_"etc." } }
\new Voice { \relative g' { \stemDown g2_\markup { \smaller \italic "Chorus II." } | g2. g4 a2 a | bes1 a2 c | c2. bes4 a2 g 
  a1 a2 fis_\markup { \smaller \italic "Chorus I." } | g2. g4 g2 g | a1 bes2 f
  f2. ees4 d2 c | d1 d } } >> }
\new Staff { \clef bass \key f \major <<
\new Voice { \relative g' { \stemUp g2 e2. e4 f2 f f1 f2 a g2. f4 e2 d
  e1 d2 d d2. d4 e2 e f1 f2 d
  c2. bes4 a2 g a1 g s2 } }
\new Voice = "B" { \stemDown g2 c'2. c'4 f2 f bes1 f2 f c'2. d'4 a2 bes
  a1 d2 d g2. g4 c2 c f1 bes,2 bes, 
  f2. g4 d2 ees d1 g } >> }
\new Lyrics \lyricsto "B" { Hoc fa -- ci -- te in me -- am com -- me -- mo -- ra -- ti -- o -- nem, Hoc fa -- ci -- te in me -- am com -- me -- mo -- ra -- ti -- o -- nem. } >> }

Palestrina's greatest contemporaries, in the Roman School, were, Vittoria, whose Motets are second only in importance to his own, Morales, Felice and Francesco Anerio, Bernadino and Giovanni Maria Nanini, Luca Marenzio, and Francesco Suriano. The honour of the Flemish School was supported, to the last, by Orlando di Lasso, a host in himself. The Venetian School boasted, after Willaert, Cipriano di Rore, Andrea and Giovanni Gabrieli, and, especially, Giovanni Croce, the originality of whose style was only exceeded by its wonderful delicacy and sweetness, which are well shewn in the following example.

{ << \new Staff { \time 4/2 \key f \major <<
\new Voice { \relative c'' { \stemUp r1 c a f ^~ f2 f f2. g4 |
  a2 bes c2. c4 | a2 a1 g2 | a g4 f a2 g | f_\markup { \smaller etc. } } }
\new Voice { \relative f' { \stemDown R\breve r1 f d c
  f2 f1 e2 f r r1 r2 f e f } } >> }
\new Staff { \clef bass \key f \major <<
\new Voice { \stemUp c'1 a | f2. g4 a2 a | bes1 a2. g4
  f1 g f r2 c' ^~ c' bes c'2. bes4 | a2 }
\new Voice = "B" { \stemDown R\breve f1 d bes,2 bes, f2. e4
  d2 d c1 r2 f1 e2 f d c2. c4 f2 } >> }
\new Lyrics \lyricsto "B" { O sa -- crum con -- vi -- _ _ vi -- um in quo Christ -- us su -- mi -- tur } >> }

In England, the Motet was cultivated, with great success, by some of the best Composers of the best period. The 'Cantiones sacræ' of Tallis and Byrd, will bear comparison with the finest productions of the Roman or any other School, those of Palestrina alone excepted. And, besides these, we possess a number of beautiful Motets by Dr. Tye, John Taverner, John Shepherd, Dr. Fayrfax, Robert Johnson, John Digon, John Thorne, and several other writers not unknown to fame. Though the Latin Motet was, as a matter of course, banished from the Services of the Church after the change of Religion, its style still lived on, in the Full Anthem, of which so many glorious examples have been handed down to us, in our Cathedral Choir-books; for, the Full Anthem is a true Motet, notwithstanding the language in which it is sung; and it is certain that some of the purest specimens of the style were originally written in Latin, and adapted to English words, afterwards—as in the case of Byrd's 'Civitas sancti tui,' now always sung as 'Bow thine ear, Lord.' Orlando Gibbons's First (and only) Set of 'Madrigals and Mottets,' printed in 1612, furnishes a singular return to the old use of the word. They are all Sæcular Songs; as are, also, Martin Pierson's 'Mottects,' published eighteen years later.

The Sixth Epoch, beginning with the early years of the 17th Century, was one of sad deca-