The vast majority of solo movements are in the style of arias that begin with opening ritornellos, and when the voice enters with each line of the hymn text (to a melodic line not necessarily associated with the chorale), the chorale tune eventually emerges from the instrumental ensemble as a cantus firmus
Due to the fact that verse 1 sets only the second half of the verse polyphonically, the cantus firmus
does not appear complete, but only the final portion is used.
When the cantus firmus
is in the superius the chant is rhythmicized and elaborated with passing notes, stylized figurations and cadences.
The additional constraint of improvising against a cantus firmus
distinguishes his discussion of canons from that of others--for example, Thomas de Sancta Maria's Libro llamado Arte de taner fantasia (Valladolid: F.
The focus is thus not on Mark Bangert's extraordinary musical ability and contributions but on a particular treasure of the Lutheran tradition that he helped me appreciate more deeply, which seems integral to the cantus firmus
of God's love and grace, to which Mark has given witness: The finite is capable of the infinite.
In any case, when the editor has taken the trouble to include these melodies, which can be of benefit only to students of cantus firmus
usage, one cannot help wondering whether it would have been very much harder to include Gloria and Credo intonations as well, instead of sending prospective performers to the library (p.
Power transposes the Sarum Gloria V cantus firmus
down by a whole step, which results in harmonies on E[flat] at unexpected moments.
Technically it would have been difficult indeed for even the informed listener to follow with the ear the long durational sequences inherent in the motet, although clearly heard by all, literally or figuratively trumpeted, would have been the four words of the cantus firmus
, "terribilus est ipse locus," the central words of the famous vision of Jacob's Ladder in which angels are seen going up and down from Heaven (and perhaps evoking for some listeners this vision, even the "heavenly" space directly around them).
For Philip orthodoxy far outweighed the criterion of musical excellence, and Villanueva's style, with its close adherence to plainsong--even to the extent of notating the tenor cantus firmus
in black neumes which must be read as semibreves--ensured a thoroughly orthodox, if rather unimaginative, style for the liturgy of the Catholic King's monument to the Counter-Reformation.
The most informative section of the introduction deals with the Misa de beata virgine, giving the original plainchant tropes and providing some analysis of the chant's use as cantus firmus
in the Mass.
So we get fairly detailed explanations of the Counter-Reformation and its effects on music; of the forces available in a Spanish church and the duties of a chapelmaster; of the liturgy and the extraliturgical situations for music; of the nature of the parody mass; of the symbolism of cantus firmus
and canon; of Burmeister's rhetorical analysis; and so on.
The justification for this reading is found in Josquin's use of the introit Gaudeamus omnes in Domino as the cantus firmus
, coupled with the exposition of numerous `hidden' codes which apparently permeate the structure of the Mass.