Monday, 10 September 2012

Juan Esquivel: Missa Quasi cedrus

The Missa Quasi cedrus by Juan Esquivel de Barahona (c. 1560-c. 1623) is based on the motet Quasi cedrus by Francisco Guerrero. Esquivel had already used a motet by Guerrero (c. 1528-1599), the famous Ave virgo sanctissima, to compose a parody mass (1608). 

In 1613 Francisco de Cea Tesa printed the biggest book of polyphonic music ever printed in Spain since the invention of the printing press under the title Ioannis Esquivel Civitatensis, et eiusdem Sanctæ Ecclesiæ portionarii, psalmorum, hymnorum, magnificarum et B. Mariæ quatuor antiphonarum de tempore, necnon et missarum tomus secundus, a huge achievement with no less than 593 pages.

The Missa Quasi cedrus (SATB) recalls sequentially the motifs from the original motet by Guerrero: for example, the Kyrie is based on the prima pars of the motet and the Sanctus on the secunda pars (Tota pulchra es). Furthermore, other motifs not from Quasi cedrus can be found on the Missa Quasi cedrus: for instance, on the Agnus Dei I the sequence G-F-Bb-C-D could have been taken from the melody of Virgo prudentissima.

The Agnus Dei III is scored for five voices (SAATB) with a canon in secunda between the Altus I and the Altus II.

Midi preview (Kyrie)