Lassus 2-part motets
  • I'm really interested in the 2-part motets by Orlando di Lassus as a future resource with a choir and i printed off the packet tonight, but I am confused as to how to sing them in 2 parts, since it is not set up with one voice under the other. Are they designed to be sung more like a round? Can anyone explain to me how they work?
  • Sounds like they are meant to be bicinia for voices, so try soprano-tenor or like voices.
  • If you printed them off of the site connected to the CPDL, they're in "part book" format, one book for each of the two parts. There isn't a standard "open score" or conflated score. You would need to create that yourself on Finale or Sibelius.

    I think they're for any combination of two voices, either equal or as Michael explained.
  • There are several of the Di Lasso bicinia with conflated scores here.

    Also, I recently found a lovely-looking site full of bicinia! Scores are here I've been particularly looking at the Gumpelzhaimer 33 Latin Canons, because they look easier on first glance than Di Lasso.

    Opinions from the experts here?
    Thanked by 1mgearthman
  • priorstf
    Posts: 460
    Thank you very much Atlantic. These look utterly fascinating ... and doable by our schola.
  • I hadn't looked over those before. I notice that several of them are versicles from the Magnificat. A nice chance to drop in a master's 2-pt polyphony to add some spice. I was just thinking about this the other day. Some of the scholas out there might start exploring the various ways that Renaissance choirs ornamented the liturgy by incorporated falsobordone verses, alternating with organ-only verses, or polyphonic verses. You might note that most Magnificat and Salve Regina settings only set the odd or even numbered stanzas. BTW my own research has turned up evidence in Spain that churches had the entire instrumentarium (viols, recorders, flutes, cornetts, sackbuts, shawms, etc) and that they played at Mass. We still don't know exactly what they played, but a few surviving minstrel books (Spaniards called the instrumentalists ministriles) have ornamented settings of polyphonic pieces and one reference I found does indicate that different, but homogenous, instrumental groups alternated with voices on the Salve and Magnificat during Lent. Whether the voices sang along or just on their own verses is not entirely clear, but it seems that it was the former. Venice is really the only place where there is some hard evidence for voices singing at the same time brass and strings were playing. Venice, however, is an odd case. They marched to their own drummer and often had run-ins with Rome over it. Probably the most excommunicated city in history!
  • Jan
    Posts: 242
    I found (4) 2 part Lasso motets at the St. John University, Collegeville Minn Alcuin Library. Probably out of print but I've got a photocopy. The Lasso motets line up just like the bicinia Atlantic posted above (and thank you Atlantic...
    great resource!!)

    Here's the edition: Laudate Pueri: Sacred Music of the XVIth Century for High Voices Being the First Part of the Northlands Singing Book (Selected and Edited by Donald F. Tovey) Augener Ltd, London 1910. Augener's Edition
    No. 9169. There's a stamp on the title page of E. C. Schirmer Music Co, Boston, Mass.

    This edition includes easy 3 part works by Lasso, Victoria, Palestrina, Gabrieli, Croce, & Constantini.

    Our mixed schola sings with men on top voice & women on bottom.
  • Here is a collection of 12 or so, printable. They are just amazing in every way. Excellent training.
    Thanked by 1bonniebede
  • Jan
    Posts: 242
    Very nice. Tx
  • Atlantic,
    Thank you so much for the resources! I like the 2 part canons, it'll be a good resource to have. Thanks again!
  • Those who look carefully can find Lassus duo's (and other duo's in the Responsories in Volume IV) here:
  • Which of these two-part motets are versicles of the Magnificat? I could not find them but may not be looking in the right motet books.