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Beata es Maria

By Jacob Obrecht

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SATB choir a cappella
Composed by Jacob Obrecht (1450-1505). Liturgical Use: Marian Feasts. Text: Latin. Choral. Vocal score. Duration ca. 6 minutes. Published by Notre Dame Choir Editions (PE.NDC016).

Item Number: PE.NDC016

Language: Latin.

A work of extraordinary beauty constructed from three borrowed elements: (1) the refrain of a 14th century Italian hymn of praise to the Virgin, (2) texts derived from the Litany and (3) the well-known Ave Maria plainsong used by Josquin and many other composers. Around these 'found' items, the composer weaves a complex web of florid counterpoint in the purist Franco-Flemish style. One can easily imagine a small group of singers gathered around an image of the Virgin at one of the side altars in St. Donatien's at Bruges at dusk singing this piece as part of an 15th century Lof or Salve service.

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