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Detail for Desprez: Ave verum Corpus
Title: Ave verum Corpus  
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Composer: Josquin Desprez (c. 1455-1521)
Scoring: SAT(or B)
Liturgical Use: Communion; Feasts of the Blessed Sacrament
Language: Latin
Catalog #: NDC001
Duration: ca. 8 minutes
Price: $3.95
Remarks: Josquin's celebrated 3 voice setting of the traditional Gregorian communion hymn (Liber Usualis, p.1856) paraphrases the chant in the middle voice. Verses 1 & 3 of the hymn are duos that unfold as single long-breathed phrases. Verses 2 & 4 create delicate trio passages by repeating the music of the first 2 verses with the addition of flowing counterpoint in the added 3rd voice. The 5th verse provides a suitable culmination joining all three voices for the final supplication: O dulcis! O pie! O Jesu fili Virginis Mariæ. No small part of the motet’s considerable appeal derives from the subtle transformation of the duet passages by the addition of a third voice. The song-like intimacy of this setting and its quiet spritual intensity reflects Josquin's northern heritage while its bright scoring and clear-cut phrasing suggests the influence of the time he spent in Italy.   View Sample Score
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