The Missa Sancta Maria is the second Mass of the first book of Masses (Liber missarum IIII. V. VI. et VIII. vocibus, Antwerp, 1621) by the Portuguese Renaissance composer Duarte Lobo (c. 1565-1646). This Mass is based on the homonym motet by the Spanish composer Francisco Guerrero (1528-1599), the most admired Spanish composer of his generation.
The Agnus Dei is the perfect sample of Duarte Lobo's genius. Scored for six voices, the riddle in the Cantus (and the Tenor with a canon at the octave down) with the words per aliam reversi sunt means that the six-note ostinato has to be sung alternatively from left to right (A-G-A-C-B-A) and backwards with the intervals inverted (A-G-F-A-B-A).
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© 2021 Jorge Martín