Missa Papae Marcelli
G P da Palestrina 1525?-1594
Sunday 20 September 1987, 8pm
Wellington Cathedral of St Paul
Cnr Molesworth and Hill St
Directed by Simon Ravens
During the 16th century the whole issue of music in the church was addressed by the Council of Trent, who were understandably concerned about the number of popular secular melodies which were finding their way into Mass settings of composers. The reformists were also anxious that the texts of the Mass should no longer be obscured by too much musical elaboration. Although Pope Marcellus only reigned for three weeks before his untimely death, he took the opportunity of addressing the Papal Choir (of which Palestrina was a member) in 1555 and registered his own disapproval of such musical defects. Perhaps this event explains the dedicatory title of the Missa Papae Marcelli, which seems to adhere to the recommendations of the Council of Trent. It is symptomatic of Palestrina's genius that he was able to satisfy the demand for a more direct musical style without abandoning his natural refinement and conservatism.
With this 1987 performance The Tudor Consort introduced to New Zealand the concept of liturgical reconstruction. Director Simon Ravens' notes on the concert begin, "In order that we might understand and appreciate a 16th century Roman Mass it is perhaps necessary that we view it in its historical and social context". The group repeated this concert to celebrate its 15th birthday in 2001.
Introit: Puer Natus est Nobis: plainsong
Kyrie: Missa Papae Marcelli: G P da Palestrina
Gloria: Missa Papae Marcelli: G P da Palestrina
Gradual: Viderunt Omnes: plainsong
Verse: Dies Sanctificatus: G P da Palestrina
Credo: Missa Papae Marcelli: G P da Palestrina
Offertorio: Tui sunt coeli: plainsong
Sanctus / Osanna I / Benedictus / Osanna II: Missa Papae Marcelli: G P da Palestrina
Sursum Corda / Pater Noster: chant
Pax Domini: chant
Agnus Dei I / Agnus Dei II: Missa Papae Marcelli: G P da Palestrina
Communion: Viderunt Omnes: plainsong
Ite missa est: plainsong
"Palestrina gained a new life…and the richness of the polyphony flowered in all its glory…The glorious singing of the Tudor Consort, surely one of New Zealand's musical wonders…"
The Dominion, 21 September 1987