Missa de Venerabile Sacramento


Information booklet about the recording of Cantores Sancti Gregorii. This programme is built around the reconstruction of the early 16th century liturgical practice in the Heilige Stede Kapel in Amsterdam, namely, the votive Mass of the Blessed Sacrament celebrated weekly together with the procession with the Miraculous Host. The central piece of this concert is the famous Occo Codex, luxurious choirbook made for Heilige Stede Kapel by the workshop of Petrus Alamire, from which we chose Josquin's Missa Pange lingua and several motets connected to the devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. Plainchant and other liturgical elements also come from graduals and missals of local provenance.

throughout Europe. Curiously, the Occo codex presents this

composition in an incomplete form. Josquin’s duos for Pleni sunt

and Benedictus have been replaced by other, shorter settings taken

from Missa Es hat ein sinn by Mathieu Gascongne (trio in case of

Benedictus) and the second Agnus dei was left out altogether. It is

possible that Alamire copyists only later obtained a complete

version of this Mass and at the time of copying the Occo Codex

worked with a version that replaced Josquin’s rather long,

sophisticated and soloistically very demanding settings with easier

ones. To present the Mass in its complete form we turned to the

choirbook Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Musiksammlung,

Musica MS 510, possibly copied between 1513 and 1519 from one

of the earliest known copies of this Mass, choirbook MS Cappella

Sistina 16.


or the polyphonic settings of Alleluia respond and odd verses

of the sequence we use the choirbook Jena, Thüringer

Universitäts‐ und Landesbibliothek, MS 35 that originally belonged

to the castle church in Wittenberg under Frederick the Wise. It

contains thirteen cycles of polyphonic propers of the Mass,

arranged according to the order of the church year, starting with

Easter. It has been speculated they might have been composed by

Adam Rener, kapellmeister to Frederick the Wise between 1507

and 1517. All of them make exclusive use of strict cantus firmus

technique, chant is presented in tenor in equal breves or

semibreves, without any rest or interpolated notes and notated in

German Hufnagel chant notation.


inally, the programme closes with a setting of Tantum ergo.

The text consists of the last two stanzas of the aforementioned

hymn Pange lingua, often used on its own in processions and

Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. Stylistically it seems related

to the setting of Cibavit eos that precedes it in the Occo codex.

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