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Gaude Virgo, Mater Christi
Composed by Josquin des Prez
Edited by Holland Jancaitis
Series Editor: Simon Carrington
Voicing: SATB a cappella
Catalog number: AMP 0680
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.
The music builds, becoming gradually more homophonic, and culminates with a spectacular cadence in the final “Alleluia.”
Here are a few suggestions for those less familiar with the idiom:
• This motet really comes to life when sung at a brisk tempo. I recommend half note = 90.
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