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Ave verum corpus

By Josquin Des Pres

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SAT(B) choir a cappella
Composed by Josquin Des Pres. Edited by Ralph W. Buxton. Liturgical Use: Communion; Feasts of the Blessed Sacrament. Text: Latin. Choral. Vocal Score. Duration ca. 8 minutes. Notre Dame Choir Editions #NDC001. Published by Notre Dame Choir Editions (PE.NDC001).

Item Number: PE.NDC001


Josquin's celebrated 3 voice setting of the traditional Gregorian communion hymn (Liber Usualis, p.1856) paraphrases the chant in the middle voice. Verses 1 & 3 of the hymn are duos that unfold as single long-breathed phrases. Verses 2 & 4 repeat the music of the first 2 verses with the addition of flowing counterpoint in the added 3rd voice making up delicate trio passages. The 5th verse provides a suitable culmination for all three voices as they join for the final supplication: O dulcis! O pie! O Jesu fili Virginis Mariae. The song-like intimacy of this setting and its quiet spritual intensity reflects Josquin's northern heritage while its bright scoring and clear-cut phrasing suggests the influence of the time he spent in Italy.

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