Saturday, July 28, 2007


Thanks to Deirdre Good for drawing my attention to this - missed in the rush to get ready for my US trip. "The rediscovery of the gigantic Mass in forty parts by Alessandro Striggio (1536-1592), lost since 1726, sheds important light on the connections between music and politics in the sixteenth century. Dating from 1566-7, it is one of the most extravagant pieces ever composed in the history of music. Here's a link to the lecture recounting the discovery by Professor Davitt Moroney, University of California, Berkeley."

From The Guardian review of the BBC Prom earlier this month: "Thomas Tallis may have written his revered 40-part Spem in alium motet after meeting the Mantuan composer Alessandro Striggio in London in 1567. Perhaps Tallis even took as a model Striggio's own 40-part mass Ecco si beato giorno, which in its final Agnus Dei rises to 60 parts. For centuries, the missing link in this theory was Striggio's lost mass itself; its rediscovery is an astonishing moment in musicological history. Unveiled in this late-night Prom by the augmented Tallis Scholars, possibly for the first time in half a millennium, Striggio's work is a masterpiece; richer and more extravagant than Tallis's more austerely English motet, but more than fit to be mentioned in the same breath as twin landmarks of 16th-century polyphony."

And here's the choral wiki for Ecce beatam lucem.

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