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Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina's MISSA BREVIS & Marc Antoine Charpentier’s PANGE LINGUA

Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina's MISSA BREVIS & Marc Antoine Charpentier’s PANGE LINGUA

The Feast of Corpus Christi also known as the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, is a Roman Catholic, Anglican, and Western Orthodox liturgical solemnity celebrating the Real Presence of the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ in the elements of the Eucharist.  The feast of Corpus Christi was proposed by Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church, to Pope Urban IV, in order to create a feast focused solely on the Holy Eucharist, emphasizing the joy of the Eucharist being the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ. The celebration of the feast was suppressed in Protestant churches during the Reformation for theological reasons: outside Lutheranism, which maintained the confession of the Real Presence, many Protestants denied the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist other than as a merely symbolic or spiritual presence. Today, most Protestant denominations do not recognize the feast day. The Church of England abolished it in 1548 as the English Reformation progressed, but later reintroduced it. Most Anglican churches now observe Corpus Christi, sometimes under the name "Thanksgiving for Holy Communion”.

The Missa Brevis by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina was published in Rome in 1570 and his part of the Missarum liber tertium

Palestrina was born in the town of Palestrina, near Rome, then part of the Papal States to Neapolitan parents, Santo and Palma Pierluigi, in 1525, possibly on 3 February.  Palestrina came of age as a musician under the influence of the northern European style of polyphony, which owed its dominance in Italy primarily to two influential Netherlandish composers, Guillaume Du Fay and Josquin des Prez, who had spent significant portions of their careers there. Italy itself had yet to produce anyone of comparable fame or skill in polyphony. Orlando di Lasso , who accompanied Palestrina in his early years, also played an important role in the formation of his style as an adviser. He died in Rome of pleurisy on 2 February 1594.

Marc-Antoine Charpentier (1643 – 1704) dominated the Baroque musical scene in seventeenth century France because of the quality of his prolific output. He mastered all genres, and his skill in writing sacred vocal music was especially hailed by his contemporaries. The ‘occasions’ of Charpentier’s 85 occasional motets are of many kinds: saints’ days or church feasts; special catechism services or Corpus Christi processions; and seasons, celebrated in the Méditations pour le Carême and the Chant joyeux du temps de Pâques. Gratitude for the restoration to health of the king or the dauphin and lamentation on the death of the queen have sacred counterparts in many motets addressing the Virgin, the Trinity or Mary Magdalene, to whom Charpentier returned several times in poignant, not to say voluptuous, works, notably the extensive Magdalena lugens (1686–7) for solo soprano. The majority of the occasional motets are petits motets. Among the larger ones, especially masterly are In Honorem Sancti Xaverij canticum, which, with its virtuoso operatic solos  was certainly composed for St Louis; In honorem Sancti Ludovici Regis Galliae canticum, a late work of exceptional pomp, circumstance and musical braggadocio; and the Motet pour l’offertoire de la Messe Rouge, retitled Motet pour une longue offrande – a long offertory, indeed: almost 800 bars and lasting about 25 minutes.

Source: Wikipedia and The Grove Dictionary of Music

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19 June 2022
Jesuits Church, Valletta
8:30 am
By Donation
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Suitable for All

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