Alessandro Striggio`s Missa “Ecco si Beato Giorno” in 40 and 60 parts

‎[…] Striggio’s mass is scored for 40 voices for most of its length, but goes into 60 for the final ‘Agnus dei’. This makes it by far the biggest piece written up to that time (around 1566) and it probably gave the cue for Tallis to write his 40-part motet Spem in alium: either the mass itself or Striggio’s own 40-part motet Ecce beatam lucem on which the mass seems to be based. Both the mass and this motet were performed together on a European tour Striggio undertook in 1567, bringing them to London as well as to Paris and Vienna. It is thought that Tallis (and the Duke of Norfolk) heard the London performance and decided to rival the scale of it.

The music for the mass disappeared soon after Striggio’s tour, after which it was only known from contemporary written descriptions, and from the survival of Ecce beatam lucem. The hero of its recent rediscovery is Davitt Moroney, the English harpsichordist, who was acute enough to question a miswritten entry in a library catalogue, thereby stumbling upon the missing music. How one conceals the existence of a piece that at its largest requires 60 separate hand-written parts for more than 400 years is a mystery to me, but that is what happened and I have often wondered how Davitt felt when he realised what he had found. Discoveries like that don’t even come once a lifetime. By his own account he then spent a year writing it out and scoring it up. ‎[…]

Leitura relacionada:
– O artigo completo de Peter Phillips pode ser lido na Spectator.
THE EVOLUTION OF AN ERROR, OR HOW STRIGGIO’S MISSA SOPRA ECCO SI BEATO GIORNO WAS LOST (AND FOUND)

Alessandro Striggio`s Missa “Ecco si Beato Giorno” in 40 and 60 parts

The BBC Singers; The Tallis Scholars | Peter Phillips, Chorus master | His Majestys Sagbutts & Cornetts | Davitt Moroney, conductor.


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