Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Alonso de Tejeda: Miserere mei, Deus

In this motet from the Liber secundus sacrarum cantionum the Spanish Alonso de Tejeda (c. 1540-1628) pays homage to the famous Miserere mei, Deus by Josquin. 

Although the Miserere mei, Deus by Tejeda is considerably shorter than the Josquin one, the tribute to Josquin is clear: it is also scored for five voices and one of these (the second soprano) also sings an ostinato (different from the Josquin one) five times (21 times in Josquin's motet). This amazing motet surprises with its unexpected harmonic changes and the beauty of its melodic lines.

The number of voices and statements of the ostinato could imply a symbolism related to the text and the number five: Miserere mei, Deus is the Psalm 51.

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