Palestrina: Missa "Pater noster"

SKU: ChB3145-02
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  • Composer: Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina
  • Instrumentation: SATB Choir
  • Work: Missa "Pater noster"
  • ISMN: 9790004403501
  • Size: 7.5 x 10.6 inches
  • Pages: 28
  • Urtext / Critical Edition

Description

Palestrina's Missa "Paternoster" is one of the masses by this composer that were published neither during his lifetime nor after his death. The work has come down to us in one single manuscript source from the collections of the Cappella Sistina in Rome, a copy transcribed by D. Brancadore in 1618.

The mass is written on motifs from the ancient plainchant Pater noster melody from the mass liturgy, which underlays the movements in an admirable multiplicity of melodic forms. New counterpoints are repeatedly intertwined with the themes of the title melody over the course of the mass. Certain idiosyncrasies in the voice-leading and the austere sonorities that recall the late Netherlandish tradition give rise to the hypothesis that this is a relatively early work of Palestrina.

Several decades ago, the Missa "Paternoster" was published by Breitkopf & Härtel in a performance edition prepared by Hermann Bäuerle. The present edition is based on the copy of the work printed in the Choirbook 68 (Cappella Sistina) of the Biblioteca Vaticana in Rome. The poor condition of the source made it necessary to compare it with Haberl's Complete Edition as weil, after which two errors have to be corrected. Our edition cannot pretend to offer a definitive reading of the accidentals, since they are difficult to distinguish in the original. The work was transposed, as this seemed more appropriate to present-day choral practice.

Finally, the note values were reduced by a half and the closing notes reproduced uniforrnly as longae. Palestrina's Missa "Pater noster" occupies a distinguished position next to its better known, four-part fellow works. lt deserves this rank thanks to its dignified and broadly sweeping themes, the archaic loftiness of its sound, and the wealth of motivic work contained within it. We sincerely hope that this new edition will stimulate choirs to turn their attention once again to this rarely sung mass by the great Roman master.

Rudolf Ewerhart,January 1962, Münster (Westf.)

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