Missa Maria zart (Jacob Obrecht)

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  • (Posted 2015-07-13)  CPDL #36043:    (MIDI)   (LilyPond)
Editor: Charles Young (submitted 2015-07-13).   Score information: A4, 48 pages, 774 kB   Copyright: CC BY SA
Edition notes: This edition is based on the sole surviving source of the mass, Mewes' Concentus harmonici quattuor missarum, which survives in a single print in the the University library of Basel. Original pitches have been preserved, and note values have been halved. The original mensuration signs for the tenor segments are indicated above the tenor part in the score. Since the tenor is notated in alto clef in the original, and in practice always lie above the altus in pitch, the tenor has been placed above the altus in the score, and for consistency this layout is maintained in the Agnus dei. The Mewes print contains are large number of errors, and emendations are enclosed in brackets inside the staff. For a complete list of emendations refer to the critical apparatus here.

General Information

Title: Missa Maria zart
Composer: Jacob Obrecht

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: ATTB
Genre: SacredMass

Language: Latin
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1507 in Concentus harmonici, no. 3
Description: Four part cantus firmus mass utilising the segmentation technique based on a monophonic german devotional song. At 1448 breves, this is probably the longest polyphonic mass setting ever composed and certainly the longest attributed to Obrecht. Stylistic analysis by Wegman indicates that this may well have been his last mass, composed during his trip through Tyrol. The cantus firmus is notated in the alto clef, and split into eight segments. The tenor, notated in the tenor clef, then joins the other voices in free polyphony for the Agnus Dei, while the Bassus states the entire cantus firmus in alternating breves and dotted semibreves in the first Agnus, and the Discantus states the entire cantus firmus in alternativing dotted breves and semibreves throughout.

External websites:

Original text and translations

For information, refer to the Mass page. For texts and translations, see the individual pages:

KyrieGloriaCredoSanctus & BenedictusAgnus Dei