Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (~1525–1594) Missa “Iste confessor”
Urtext edited by Rudolf Ewerhart [mix ch]
Further masses by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina can be found here.
20 pages | 19 x 27 cm | 56 g | ISMN: 979-0-004-40347-1 | Saddle Stitch
Palestrina’s Missa “Iste confessor” is contained in the Missarum liber quintus, the composer’s fifth book of masses which was first printed in Rome in 1590 and reprinted the following year in Venice. Palestrina dedicated this book of masses to the art-loving Duke Wilhelm V of Bavaria, the lord and patron of his famous contemporary Orlando di Lasso.
The thematic substance of the mass is based on the old, eponymous hymn melody from the Commune Confessorum. The various parts of the hymn not only constitute the melodic framework for the principal themes of the different movements, but are also heard in melodic and rhythmic variations at a great number of places within the movements.
The Missa “Iste corifessor” had been published several decades ago by Breitkopf & Härtel in a practical edition prepared by Hermann Bäuerle. Our edition is based on the print of 1590, a copy of which was consulted at the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in Munich. For today’s choral practice, it seemed preferable to transpose the mass, which was originally in the eighth church mode. The note values were reduced by a half and, departing from the original, the closing notes are reproduced uniformly as longae.
The Missa “Iste confessor” has long ranked as one of the most widely admired masses of the Roman master. The compact dimensions, the simplicity and suaveness of the melodic lines, the model vocal declamation all constitute assets which elevate this mass to an exemplary level and reveal the hand of the great master in spite of its brevity.
Rudolf Ewerhart, May 1961 Münster/Westfalen