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The motet around 1500 On the relationship of imitation and text treatment?

Edited by Thomas Schmidt-Beste

imitation and text treatment? Edited by Thomas Schmidt-Beste Centre d’études supérieures de la Renaissance Collection

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Thomas

Schmidt-Beste

The Motet around 1500 On the relationship of imitation and text treatment?

centre détudes supérieures de la renaissance

F

Daniele V.

Text, Form, and Style

Filippi

in Franchino Gaffurio’s Motets *

‘Es ist beinahe sprichwörtlich’—Knud Jeppesen wrote, at the very be- ginning of his article on the Milanese Libroni—

* I wish to thank Bonnie Blackburn for valuable comments to the confer- ence version of this paper, and the staff of the Archivio della Veneranda Fabbrica for granting me access to the Librone 1. I would like also to thank the amateur singers of the Schola cantorum San Luca (Milan), with whom I often performed Gaf- furio’s Quando venit ergo in concerts and during church services: it was rehearsing this motet with the Schola that the idea of this research project first occurred to me.

1. K. Jeppesen, ‘Die 3 Gafu- rius-Kodizes der Fabbrica del Duomo, Milano’, Acta Musicolo- gica, 3 (1931), pp. 14–28, at p. 14.

2. The fact that Gaffurio’s compo- sitions do not pertain to the age of Galeazzo probably contrib- uted to the marginalization of his works in most musicological stud- ies concerning the Milanese motet,

daß kein Theoretiker auch als Komponist bedeutend war, daß Intuiti- on und Ratio sich selten reimen. Als einzige, allerdings auch glänzen- de Ausnahme pflegt man hier gewöhnlich den in beiden Beziehungen genialen Rameau anzuführen. Wenn man sich recht umsieht, verdie-

nen doch auch andere Theoretiker hier mit Ehre genannt zu werden. Die drei berühmtesten italienischen Musiktheoretiker Gafurius, Spa- taro und Zarlino waren so alle fruchtbare Komponisten, und konnte der letzgenannte vielleicht etwas trocken scheinen, waren die beiden anderen sogar sehr begabte und originelle Schöpfer. 1

Eighty years after this favourable judgement was formulated by Jeppesen, and notwithstanding his undisputable status of first na- tive Italian composer of the Renaissance, Franchino Gaffurio’s mu- sic still remains largely unexplored. The aim of the present paper is to investigate some aspects of Gaffurio’s motets in the Librone 1 dell’Archivio della Veneranda Fabbrica (I—Md), outlining the pecu-

liar stylistic synthesis he conceived in the 1480s on the basis of the style elaborated by Loyset Compère, Gaspar van Weerbeke, and other composers working in Milan in the preceding decade. 2

in spite of the availability of a mod- ern edition: F. Gaffurio, Mottetti, ed. A. Bortone (Archivium Musices Metropolitanum Mediolanense

[=AMMM], 5; Milan, 1959); I will refer to this edition for musical exam- ples (sometimes with slight edito- rial changes), measure numbers, etc.

text, form, and style

384

I. Gaffurio’s motets in Librone 1:

General remarks

Franchino Gaffurio’s motets in Librone 1, written probably in the period 1484–90, 3 can be divided into three categories (the second one being the least numerous):

1) compositions akin to the motetti missales, characterized by homo- rhythmic texture, clear sectionalization, short and tuneful phras- es, lively vocal orchestration, fermata chords, and so on; a fine example is Quando venit ergo, a motet I will often refer to in this paper, which is reproduced in full score in the Appendix; 2) motets in a contrapuntal (more or less imitative) 4 texture through- out, such as Regina coeli, 5 Omnipotens aeterne Deus, or Verbum sapi- entiae; 3) motets falling somehow in the middle between the two extremes:

a superius-tenor imitative relation is embedded into a more or less homorhythmic texture, sometimes with fermata chords sections. See, for instance, the group Castra coeli—O rex laeta—Imperatrix regi- narum.

3. In 1484 Gaffurio became choirmas- ter at the Duomo. ‘It seems unlikely that Gaffurius devoted much time to composition before he became choirmaster at Milan, although he reportedly composed in Genoa. His only surviving secular works (in I– PAc 1158) must have been written in the 1470s, and (to judge from Illu- strissimo marchexe) they are not even competent. Clearly, he gained experi- ence in the following decade, perhaps under the influence of the skilled composer Tinctoris’ (B. J. Black- burn, ‘Gaffurius, Franchinus’, NG2).

4. Gaffurio’s imitations (preferably built on a cantus-tenor axis) are gen- erally short, often lasting less than two breves. The most common imi- tative intervals are the unison, the

Although a systematic exploration of the corpus of texts set to music in the Milanese motet repertoire is still missing, many authors have sketched its peculiar nature: heterogeneous compilations from hymns, sequences, antiphons, litanies, rhythmic offices, and so on, with the occasional addition of Bible verses or newly composed seg- ments, in a mixture of prose and verse. These texts reflect what has been defined as ‘the Milanese fondness for composite structures’, 6 and provide a rich and multifaceted theological commentary on spe- cific feasts or aspects of Christian liturgy (as in substitution motets). With a few exceptions, like the Regina coeli, Gaffurio’s texts are per- fectly in line with this tradition.

Beyond the different categories, these motets build a fairly consist- ent set: the motivic repertoire, melodic and harmonic formulae, ton- al and formal solutions—to say nothing of the explicit links between some motets—delineate a coherent and homogeneous personal style:

indeed an impressive one.

octave, and the fifth (for a rather exceptional case of four-voice imi- tation with each voice entering on a different pitch, see the begin- ning of Castra coeli, with the contra- tenor gravis entering on g, the tenor on d’, the superius on a’, the contra-

tenor acutus on c’). Gaffurio does not observe a one-to-one correspondence between textual and motivic units in imitation: the voices involved often carry different textual segments.

5. This motet is character- ized by melodic references to the plainchant antiphon.

6. J. Rifkin, ‘Munich, Milan, and a Mar- ian Motet: Dating Josquin’s “Ave Maria… virgo serena”’, JAMS, 56 (2003), pp. 239–350, at p. 277. See also, among others, Patrick Macey, ‘Galeazzo Maria Sforza and Musi- cal Patronage in Milan: Com- père, Weerbeke and Josquin’, EMH, 15 (1996), pp. 147–212, at p. 182.

Table 1. Motets by Gaffurio in Librone 1 (ordered according to their position in the manuscript; all motets are four voice unless stated)

 

motet

system

final sonority

bars

Virgo prudentissima

G

53

Beata progenies (3 voice)

G

25

Gloriosae Virginis Mariae (3 voice)

G

51

Sub tuam protectionem (3 voice)

F

30

Sponsa Dei electa

G

38

Hortus conclusus

G

46

Descendi in hortum

G

48

Tota pulchra es

G

55

Quando venit ergo—Ave corpus Jesu Christi

G

27

G

52

79

O

sacrum convivium

G

65

Hoc gaudium

G

53

Gaude Virgo gloriosa

G

51

Prodiit puer—Res a saeculis

C*

41

D

30

71

Joseph conturbatus est

D

28

Gaude Mater luminis—Te honorant superi

d*

36

D

34

70

Ave mundi spes, Maria

G*

38

Regina caeli laetare

F

58

Salve decus genitoris—Qui nepotes

d*

67

G

64

131

Salve Mater Salvatoris—Salve Verbi sacra parens

G

29

G

34

63

Salve decus virginum—O convallis humilis

d*

53

G

47

100

Tu thronus es—Salve Mater pietatis—Vox eclipsim nesciens

d*

71

d*

68

217

G

78

Imperatrix gloriosa—Florem ergo genuisti—Res miranda

F*

72

G

69

216

G

75

Beate Sebastiane

D

120

Omnipotens aeterne Deus

D

54

Virgo Dei digna

G

64

Verbum sapientiae

G

21

Castra caeli

G

24

O

res laeta

G

29

Imperatrix reginarum

G

32

Promissa mundo gaudia

G

85

Magnum nomen Domini (5 voice)

F

34

Audi benigne Conditor (5 voice)

F

46

Salve mater Salvatoris—Inter natos mulierum

G

71

G

65

136

Stabat Mater—Adoramus te Christe

B

67

G

53

120

* Final sonorities marked with an asterisk are triads; all the others do not contain the third.

text, form, and style

II. Text, form and style: some aspects of Gaffurio’s tech- nique

386

I would like to concentrate on three aspects of the interrelation- ship between text, form and style in these motets:

1. phraseology and formal planning;

2. expressive use of homorhythmic textures and syllabicity;

3. use of motivic and structural relationships to achieve inter- nal unification; thereafter, I will briefly consider the parallel issue of intertextual relations.

1. Phraseology and formal planning First of all, it can be said that Gaffurio’s phraseological units are generally short: see, for instance, Ave mundi spes Maria or Tu thronus es, where phraseological units are often no longer than 2–3 breves. This is a decisive factor for the achievement of a peculiar listener-oriented formal clarity. 7 One of Gaffurio’s favourite devices is the setting of 3-line strophes in a corresponding ternary musical form (AAB). Quasi-antecedent- consequent structures are closed by a third segment, balancing the overall geometry by means of contrast, or intensification, or both. O sacrum convivium provides two remarkable examples of this proce- dure. At bars 45ff. a strophe from the sequence Veni sancte Spiritus is sung. The two contratenores (acutus and gravis) sing the first line in duet (‘Veni, Sancte Spiritus’); superius and tenor answer singing the second line (‘et emitte caelitus’) on different music—phrase length is exactly the same (3½ breves) but this duet is more homorhythmic and text declamation is more synchronized, while the contratenores join in on the last brevis, so that a four-voice texture is achieved; then, the third line is sung homorhythmically a quattro (4 breves), with a solemn slowing down of pace.

Table 2. F. Gaffurio, O sacrum convivium, AAB symmetry in bars 45–55

segment

bars

notes

Veni, Sancte Spiritus,

45–48

2

voice (CtAc–CtGr)

[3 ½]

et emitte caelitus

48–51

2

voice (S–T), then 4 voice

[3 ½]

lucis tuae radium.

51–55

4

voice

[4]

7. Obviously, there are exceptions to the rule: see, for instance, the incipit of the four voice O sacrum convivium, with an 11-breves-long melismatic and

sequential duet, sung by the higher voices and then repeated by the lower ones (the rest of the motet, how- ever, has short phrases throughout).

daniele v. filippi

387

Example 1. F. Gaffurio, O sacrum convivium, bars 45–55

45

 

     
 

Superius

 

 

 

   

           

 

   

Et

e

-

mit

-

te

cae -

Contratenor

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

     

 
 

acutus

 

                             

   
 

Ve

-

 

-

ni,

San

 

-

-

-

cte

Spi

-

ri -

tus,

 
 

 

 

   

 

Tenor

Et

e

-

mit

-

te

cae -

Contratenor

   

 

 

   

   

 
 

gravis

 

 

Ve -

ni,

 

San -

cte

Spi

 

-

-

-

-

-

ri

-

tus

 

50

   

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

- -

-

-

li

-

tus

lu

-

cis

 

tu

- ae

 

ra

-

-

-

-

-

di

-

um.

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

cae - li

-

tus

lu

-

cis

 

tu

- ae

 

ra

-

-

-

-

-

-

di -

um.

 
 

  

 

 

   

 

 

 

   

     

- -

 

-

li

 

-

tus

 

lu

-

cis

 

tu

- ae

 

ra

-

- -

-

-

 

di

-

um.

 
 
    
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

cae

-

 

-

-

li

-

tus

lu

- cis

tu

-

- ae

ra

 

-

di

-

um.

 

Besides the AAB phraseology, this fragment shows some other typical features of Gaffurio’s writing, on which we shall return later:

the tunefulness of melodic lines, the progressive introduction of ho- morhythmic textures, the importance of phrase-length as an inde- pendent formal parameter. Another structure of this sort follows in the last section (bars 55ff.): ‘Caro cibus, sanguis potus / manet tamen Christus totus / sub utraque specie’. 8

Table 3. F. Gaffurio, O sacrum convivium, AAB symmetry in bars 55–65

segment

bars

notes

Caro cibus, sanguis potus

55–57

4

voice

[2 ½]

manet tamen Christus totus

58–61

2

voice (S-CtAc)

[3 ½]

sub utraque specie

61–65

voice; triple metre; textual repetition

4

[4 ½]

8. This part of the text is taken from the sequence Lauda Sion.

text, form, and style

388

Example 2. F. Gaffurio, O sacrum convivium, bars 55-65

56

            S.  
 
S.
Ca -
ro
ci -
bus,
san -
guis
po
-
tus,
ma -
net
ta -
men
Chri
- stus
to
- -
-
-
-

CtAc.
Ca -
ro
ci -
bus,
san -
guis
po
-
tus,
ma -
net
ta -
men
Chri
- stus
to
- -
-
-
-
 
T.
Ca -
ro
ci -
bus,
san -
guis
po
-
tus,
 
CtGr.
 
Ca -
ro
ci -
bus,
san -
guis
po
-
tus,
61
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
 
  

  

  
- tus
sub
u
-
tra
-
que
spe
-
ci
-
e
sub
u
-
tra
-
que
spe
-
ci
- e.
3
3
3
3
3
3
3

- tus
sub
u
-
tra
-
que
spe
-
ci
-
e
sub
u
-
tra
-
que
spe
-
ci
- e.
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
sub
u
-
tra
-
que
spe
-
ci
-
e
sub
u
-
tra
-
que
spe
-
ci
- e.
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
 
  
sub
u
-
tra
-
que
spe
-
ci
-
e
sub
u
-
tra
-
que
spe
-
ci
- e.

9. See especially his Ave, stella matu- tina, in Gaspar van Werbeke [sic], Messe e mottetti, ed. G. Tintori (AMMM, 11; Milano, 1963), pp. 8–12.

Clearly, in this treble-dominated texture the top-voice melodic phrase of the second unit answers that of the first unit, building a climax (significantly reaching the peak, d’’, on ‘Chri[-stus]’) and driving to a cadence on b. The vocal orchestration indicates, though, that this self-contained structure needs further expansion to come to a full stop: the return to a full-voice texture combined with the shift to triple metre (by means of coloration) brings this episode, as well as the entire motet, to an appropriate conclusion, beautifully highlighting the theological content of the text. Similar passages can be found, for instance, in Weerbeke, 9 perhaps the composer whose influence is most notable in Gaffurio: but Gaf- furio’s use of characteristic short, syllabic, tuneful, sharp-profiled phrases makes such structures even more intense in his motets. In the magnificent Stabat Mater, the AAB symmetry dominating the text is reflected in the musical structure: at bars 14–22, for in- stance, two identical bicinia (2 breves ½ + 2 breves ½) are followed by a closing phrase that breaks the metrical uniformity and moves towards the cadence (3 breves ½; see Example 3); later, at bars 50–58, a trio answering the low pair at the upper fifth (again 2 ½ + 2 ½) is fol-

lowed by another cadential phrase sung by the four voices together (4 breves); immediately afterward, bars 59–67, Gaffurio replicates the bicinia of bars 14ff., changing the vocal scoring and modifying

daniele v. filippi

389

the lower voice (2 ½ + 2 ½), but now he introduces a new concluding phrase a quattro (4 breves).

Table 4. F. Gaffurio, Stabat Mater, AAB symmetry in bars 14–22 and 50–67

bars

scoring

text

length

phrase

notes

 

14–16

S–CtAc

Dulce lignum, lignum vitae

2 ½

A

14–22

17–19

T–CtGr

venerari convenite,

2 ½

A

identical bicinia

19–22

tutti

salvi ligni pretio.

3 ½

B

 

50–52

T–CtGr

Quis est homo qui non fleret

2 ½

A 1

 

S–CtAc–

S–CtAc answer at the upper fifth

50–58

5254

CtGr

Christi Matrem si videret

2 ½

A 2

55–58

tutti

in tanto supplitio?

4

B

 

59–61

CtAc–CtGr

Ligno crucis fabricatur

2 ½

A

59–67

61–63

S–T

archa Noe, qua salvatur

2 ½

A

~= 14–19

64–67

tutti

mundus a miseria.

4

B

new material

Example 3. F. Gaffurio, Stabat Mater, prima pars, bars 14–22

S.

CtAc.

T.

CtGr.

15

 

 

 

 

   

               

     

 

 

Dul -

ce

li -

gnum, -

li gnum

vi - tae

sal

-

vi

li

- gni

pre

-

ti - o.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dul -

ce

li -

gnum, -

li gnum

vi - tae

 

sal

-

vi

li

-

gni

pre -

 

ti

-

o.

 

 

 

 

       

     

ve -

ne -

ra -

ri

con -

ve -

ni

- te

sal

-

vi

li

-

gni

pre

 

-

ti

-

o.

 

 

 
   

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

   

         

   

 

 

ve -

ne -

ra -

ri

con -

ve -

ni

- te

sal

-

vi

li

-

gni

pre

-

ti

-

o.

Examples of these geometrical structures could be multiplied. In the second part of the same motet, the metrical structure of the text temporarily changes (‘Adoramus te, Christe …’). When the text re- sumes the AAB form (with strophes extracted no longer from Stabat Mater, but from another de cruce poem) at first Gaffurio does not seem to follow that scheme: see bars 24ff., ‘Crux est virga quae per- cussit / silicem bis et excussit / rivum vivum saeculo’. Given his fine sense for text structures, however, we cannot help noting that a dou- ble enjambement alters the symmetry of these very lines. But in the following section, the last in the motet, the AAB scheme looms again in the music, albeit in a more florid melodic style and in less regular dimensional proportions (see Example 4): from bar 36 to the end, we have again two ‘periodical’ bicinia (CtAc–CtGr, 5 breves— S–T, 6 ½), followed by a closing phrase sung by the four voices, and the final ‘Amen’ in fermata chords. In spite of the different melodic

text, form, and style

390

style, tunefulness and the multilayered geometrical correspondence between these phrases cannot be overlooked. 10

Example 4. F. Gaffurio, Stabat Mater, secunda pars, bars 36–53

37

         S.     
  
S.
 
 
Chri
-
ste,
dul
-
ce
fac
et
 
  
 
CtAc.
 
Quod in no -
bis
est
a ma
-
-
-
-
rum
  
T.
  
Chri
-
ste,
dul -
ce
fac
et

 
 
   
CtGr.
Quod
in
no
-
-
bis
est
a
-
ma - rum
45
     
  

  
  
  
sa
-
-
num
tu
- ae
cru
-
cis
gra
-
-
ti -
a.
A
-
-
-
-
men.
 
  
  
tu
- ae
cru
-
-
cis
gra -
ti
-
a.
A
-
-
-
-
men.
 
 
     
 
sa
-
-
-
-
num
tu
- ae
cru
-
-
cis
gra
- ti
-
a.
A
-
-
-
-
men.
 
 
 
tu
- ae
cru
-
cis
gra
- ti
-
a.
A
-
-
-
-
men.

10. While, for instance, the caden- tial goals (d–d–g) comply with the A 1 A 2 B phraseological struc- ture, the linear progression of the top voice opening pitches (d’-f’- b!) operates on another level.

11. The contratenor acutus actu- ally goes on singing the segment ‘et vox turturis’, but the sonic result is virtually the same.

12. For further examples of rhetoric-ori- ented structures see: Hortus conclu- sus, bars 26–33, where a duet singing the word ‘melliflui …’ is answered by another duet singing ‘… facti sunt coeli’, then the whole phrase ‘mel- liflui facti sunt coeli’ is sung by 3–4 voices. Descendi in hortum meum, bars 13–27: cantus and tenor sing ‘ut viderem …’, contratenor acutus and gravis sing ‘et inspicerem …’, can- tus and tenor again sing ‘… si floruis- sent …’, contratenor acutus and gravis add ‘si floruissent mala, si floruissent mala …’, and on the ‘mala punica’ a 3–4–voice texture is finally reached.

In some cases, the phraseological architecture follows a clear rhe- torical orientation: in Tota pulchra, bars 43ff., the textual segment ‘et vox turturis audita est’ is sung by different vocal groups in two dis- tinct statements without any motivic interrelationships. In the first

statement, superius and tenor sing the words ‘et vox turturis …’ in duet, and are joined by the contratenor acutus on ‘… audita est’; in the second one, contratenor acutus and contratenor gravis sing ‘et vox turturis …’ and the answer leads to a tutti texture. 11 Thus, a 2–3

voice statement is followed by a 2–4 voice statement, in a composite but transparent climax further enriched by the imitation between contratenor gravis and tenor of bars 48–51, that one is tempted to regard as a Textausdeutung. 12 Gaffurio’s command of the diverse factors that allow for a rhetori- cal orientation of form is evident also in passages like Quando venit ergo, bars 18ff. (see Appendix). On the words ‘atque ventre virginali’ the contratenor gravis sings in duet first with the contratenor acu- tus (bars 18–20), then with the tenor (bars 20–22), while the follow- ing segment ‘caro factus prodiit’ is sung by the four voices together. Rhythmic imitation links the duets, but melodic imitation links tenor and superius (bars 20–22), although on different textual units.

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The textural chiaroscuro (the second duet is lower and allows the en- trance of the superius at bar 21 to be more effective), the broadening of the overall vocal gamut (with the emergence of the superius and the descent of the contratenor gravis from b to G), the expansion of phrase-length and the gradual abandonment of homophony her- ald the approaching of an important cadence. The formal outline, marked by a perfect tension, is thus the result of a complex and at the same time clear rhetorical strategy, connected to the preparation and realization of a convincing conclusion for the first part of the motet. In Gaude Mater luminis there is a peculiar formal construction, based on a recurring block of fermata-chords on the word ‘Maria’ (see Table 5). The block of three chords, always introduced by a rest, appears alternatively in two forms: d–C 6 –d (M 1 in the table) and d–g–d (M 2 in the table). 13

Table 5. F. Gaffurio, Gaude Mater luminis, structure

pars

segment

length

cadential goal

block form

 

Gaude Mater luminis / quam divini numinis / visitavit gratia.

12

F

M

1

Virga Dei regia / flore fructu candida / divina potentia.

5

a

0

M

2

I

Tu virtutum speculum / prelustrasti saeculum / luce claritatis.

10

F/d

M

1

Plena Dei munere / meruisti gignere / prolem sanctitatis.

5

d

M

2

 

Te honorant superi / matrem omnis gratiae.

10

a/d 0

M

1

Ad te clamant miseri / de valle miseriae.

6

+

d

0

M

2

II

Audi preces, terge fletus, / nos commenda Filio.

8

0

F

M

1

Ut nos tua prece suo / collocet in solio.

3

+

0

F

M

2

Amen.

2

d

0

13. About the insistence on the nomen sacrum ‘Maria’ in Milanese motets and related works by Gaspar van Weerbeke, Loyset Compère, and Josquin des Prez, and the prob- able link with Galeazzo Maria Sforza, see Macey, ‘Galeazzo Maria Sforza and Musical Patronage in Milan’, particularly pp. 155ff.

14. By means of an extensive coloration (in the secunda pars the ‘Amen’ follow- ing the last block is in triple metre as well, again through coloratio).

M 1 = d–C 6 –d / M 2 = d–g–d

Although the four strophes in the text of each part are of the same length, the corresponding musical segments have different propor- tions. The scheme is fairly regular: a long segment + ‘Maria’ block type 1 + a short segment + ‘Maria’ block type 2. The symmetry be- tween the two parts is further enhanced by means of a mensural shift in the segment preceding the last ‘Maria’ block. 14 This kind of formal planning, though respecting the partitions of the text, is largely independent from its proportions.

To sum up these remarks on phraseology and form: Gaffurio re- acts to text structures in various ways. Particularly noteworthy is the association of tunefulness (cantabilità) and binary or ternary phra- seological structures. Gaffurio shows a keen sense for phraseological proportions, often independent from text proportions; and he fre- quently organizes form according to rhetorical strategies.

text, form, and style

392

2. Expressive use of homorhythmic textures and syllabicity A second relevant point concerns the exploitation of the contrast between non-homorhythmic and homorhythmic textures and be- tween different text-setting styles for expressive purposes. Virgo prudentissima is more melismatic than average among Gaf- furio’s motets: this is, perhaps, partly owing to the presence of many precious Marian attributes deriving from the Song of Songs (‘aurora … rutilans … filia Sion … tota formosa … pulchra ut luna … electa ut sol’). The texture is prevailingly non-homorhythmic, but the few passages in which two or more voices sing together the same words are carefully chosen, revealing a conscious expressive strategy: the opening tricinium and bicinium on the words ‘Virgo prudentissima’ (bars 1–8), the word ‘pulchra’ (bars 35–6), and the last word, ‘claman- tibus’ (bars 51–3). On the other hand, notwithstanding the general melismatic disposition, the melisma in semiminimae on ‘aurora’ in the superius, being doubled in tenths by the tenor, contrasts with what precedes, looming as a peculiar ‘sound object’ and thus bearing an expressive character.

Example 5. F. Gaffurio, Virgo prudentissima, bars 11–19

11

              

 
  
  
  
  
S.
ris
qua
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
si
au
-
-
-
-
-
-
 

CtAc.
pro
-
gre
-
-
-
-
-
de
-
ris
qua
-
-
-
si
au
-
 
T.
   
  
  
si
au - ro
-
-
-
-
-
-
CtGr.
 
  
 
qua
-
-
-
si
au
-
ro
-
-
-
-
-
-
ra
17
 
-
-
ro
-
ra?
 
 
 
- ro
-
ra
val
-
-
-
-
de
ru
-
-
ra
val
-
-
-
 
  
 
 
val
-
-
-
-
-
-

The same kind of enhancement of textual units can be found, for instance, in Promissa mundo gaudia: the only homorhythmic passage in four voices falls on ‘[in prole] fulsit deitas, munere fatali’ (bars 35–9), the core, the crucial point in this text.

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In other cases it is the combination of two distinct factors—the shift to homorhythmic counterpoint and the adoption of syllabic declamation with a steady pulse—that marks a turning-point in the motet. In Quando venit ergo, on the words ‘sacri plenitudo temporis, missus est ab arce Patris natus orbis conditor’, bars 9–17 (see edi- tion in appendix), there is a first convergence on ‘plenitudo’, then a cadence, then a new phrase with a lively syllabic declamation (an- ticipated by the contratenor gravis on ‘temporis’), in which only the two contratenores sing in homophony; on ‘natus orbis conditor’, the four voices finally sing together, emphasizing the paradox of In- carnation expressed by these words which is central to the whole text. Distinct constructive levels converge here, contributing to high- light this textual focus: on ‘missus est ab arce Patris’ we have the only movement to C in the entire cadential plan (see Table 6 below), pointing toward the durus side of the tonal system; and imitation is introduced for the first time on these same words, exactly where pulse and declamation result in a powerful condensation. It is precisely in the light of such passages that the conventional view of Gaffurio’s style as somehow unemotional and almost exclu- sively oriented toward a neutral ‘deutliche Präsentation’ 15 of the text should be questioned. The study of his motets shows him as a com- poser experimenting with moderate but nevertheless variable and ef- fective text-expressive solutions. 16

3. Unifying strategies and intertextuality Musical unity within the single motet figures clearly among the pri- orities in Gaffurio’s agenda. Obviously, in order to achieve this goal, he uses various methods, working on motivic elaboration, cadences, recurring melodic or harmonic elements (as we have already seen in Gaude Mater luminis), and so on. Two cases seem particularly strik- ing. In Promissa mundo gaudia Gaffurio employs insistent chains of melodic/harmonic cells migrating from voice to voice on different pitch levels in various segments of the motet (the presence of these cells affects directly almost the half of the 85 bars).

15. See L. Finscher and A. Lauben- thal, ‘“Cantiones quae vulgo motec- tae vocantur”. Arten der Motette im 15. und 16. Jahrhundert’, in Die Musik des 15. und 16. Jahrhun- derts, ed. L. Finscher (Neues Hand- buch der Musikwissenschaft, 3; Laaber, 1990), pp. 277–370, at p. 337.

bars 36–8, where the text deals with the descent of Christ from heaven (in his Incarnation as well as in the Eucharist), the contratenor acu- tus sings a plain descending hexa- chord (‘qui de caelo’), while the tenor answers first with an ascending hexa- chord and then with a similar descent

11

text, form, and style

394

Example 6. F. Gaffurio, Promissa mundo gaudia, bars 11–27

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

gra -

ti -

a

gra

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

ti

-

a

 

hac

 

 

 

 

       

 

 

       

 

 

-

di

-

a

su - per

-

 

-

-

na

 

sol

-

-

-

vit

 

gra

-

-

-

ti -

a

       

 

       
 

 

 

   

 

 

per

 

-

-

na

sol

-

-

-

-

vit

   

gra

-

-

-

ti

-

a

         
                            
 
                            
       

     
 

                     

         

 

 

 

     

   

 

 

 

       

 

       

 

per

 

-

-

na

sol

-

-

vit

 

gra

 

-

-

-

ti

-

a

18

              
   
 
di
-
-
-
-
-
-
e
na
-
-
-
ta
-
-
-
-
 
 
 
gra
-
-
-
ti
-
a
hac
di
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
e
na -
hac
di
-
-
-
-
-
e
nat
-
ta
-
-
-
li.
hac
di
-
-
-
-
e
na
- ta
-
li.
24
 
 
-
-
-
-
-
li.
 
 
 
-
ta
-
li.
In
vir
-
-
gi -
ne
foe -
 
In
vir
-
gi
-
ne
foe
-
cun
-
-
di
-
 
 
 
In
vir
-
-
gi
-
ne
foe
-
-
-
cun
-

17. In which, by the way, masterly expres- sive touches are to be seen, like the turn to b! at the end of the segment ‘Christi sanguis ave’: the first occur- rence of this cadential goal, reached through F after four fermata chords insisting on g, lends a porten- tous ecstatic character to this pas- sage. Using the simplest devices (the change of register in the lower voices between ‘Christi’ and ‘sanguis’, the contrast between static and dynamic harmonies), Gaffurio achieves once more a powerful text expression.

If the case of Promissa mundo gaudia is rather unique, many motets share the motivic unity and cadential uniformity we can observe for instance in Quando venit ergo. As shown in Example 7, basically the same melodic cadential formula, though in different variations, re- curs throughout the motet (a climactic expansion can be observed, whose apex corresponds to the ardent segment ‘amor et desideri- um’). A closer look at the cadential plan reveals the recurrence of one polyphonic cadential model as well, in two variant forms (marked by a triangle in Table 6), functioning as a further tool of unification in an already clear, homogeneous, symmetrical tonal plan. 17

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Example 7. F. Gaffurio, Quando venit ergo , synopsis of melodic cadences

   

I, bars 3-6

 

 

 

 

I, bars 25-27

 

 

 

II, bars 38-40

 

 

 

 

II, bars 60-63

 

 
                           

 

 

   

II, bars 67-71

 



 

 

II, bars 76-79

 
 

               

 

 

text, form, and style

396

Table 6. F. Gaffurio, Quando venit ergo, structure and cadential plan

 

bars

segment

(lenght)

structure

cadences

Quando venit ergo sacri plenitudo temporis

1–13

dense four voice counterpoint, then tending toward homorhythmic texture

6: g; 9: g; 10: d; 13: B /g

[12 ½]

missus est ab arce Patris natus orbis conditor

13–17

declamatory pseudoimitation, then progressively homorhythmic

 

[5]

15: C 0 ; 17: g 0

atque ventre virginali

18–22

duets: CtAc–CtGr, then T–CtGr

20: g 0 ; 22: g

[5]

caro factus prodiit.

21–27

final four voice cadence

27: g 0

[6 ½]

 

2835

Ave corpus Jesu Christi,

[8]

fermata chords

35: d

 

3640

qui de coelo descendisti!

[5]

animated homorhythmic texture

40: g 0

 

4148

Ave Verbum incarnatum,

[8]

fermata chords

48: F

 

4953

in altari consecratum!

[5]

animated homorhythmic texture

53: F/d

 

5459

Christi sanguis ave,

[6]

fermata chords

59: B 0

 

6063

coeli sanctissime potus!

[4]

animated homorhythmic texture

63: g 0

 

6467

Jesu nostra redemptio,

[4]

duet CtAc–CtGr

67: F 0

 

6771

amor et desiderium,

[4]

duet S–T

71: B 0

 

7174

Deus Creator omnium,

[4]

duet CtAc–CtGr

74: F

 

74–79

homo in fine temporum.

[5 ½]

final four voice cadence

79: g 0

type

cadence

final four voice cadence 79:  g 0 type  cadence (cadences marked with  are

(cadences marked with are variants of )

18. Ludwig Finscher, in his Loyset Com- père (c.1450–1518): Life and Works (n.p., 1964), p. 90, suggested a cycle encom- passing fols 71 v –75 (that is to say:

Quando venit ergo, O sacrum convivium, Hoc gaudium, Gaude Virgo gloriosa); other scholars, like Thomas Noblitt in ‘The Motetti Missales of the Late Fifteenth Century(Ph.D. diss., Uni- versity of Texas, 1964), pp. 208–39, are less inclined to acknowledge the existence of ‘hidden’ or incom- plete cycles; see a critic of this rather stiff position in D. E. Crawford’s review in Current Musicology, 10 (1970), pp. 102–10, at pp. 105–6, and, in posi- tive and more general terms, L. Halp- ern Ward, ‘The “Motetti Missales” Repertory Reconsidered’, JAMS, 39 (1986), pp. 491–523. On the problem of identifying cycles and their struc- tures, see also A. Lindmayr-Brandl, ‘Gaspar van Weerbeke and the Motet “Sancti spiritus adsit nobis”. An Ana- lytic Study Within the Diplomatic Environment of the motetti missales’, Musica Disciplina, 46 (1992), pp. 105–13, and P. A. Merkley and L. L. M. Mer- kley, Music and Patronage in the Sforza Court (Turnhout, 1999), pp. 332–57.

19. Fols 68 v –73 r .

20. Fols 73 v –80 r (though with the inter- polation of the apparently non-linked