Palestrina, Part 1

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Program: #13-14   Air Date: Apr 01, 2013

With the third disc in a projected Palestrina cycle, Harry Christophers and his ensemble The Sixteen continue with the rarely-recorded Missa Regina caeli.

Palestrina Volume 3

NOTE: All of the music on this program is from the recent release Palestrina, Volume 3 from the ensemble The Sixteen directed by Harry Christophers. The recording is on the Coro label and is CD COR16106. For more information:

A towering figure in Renaissance polyphony, Palestrina is arguably one of the greatest composers of Liturgical music of all time. Harry Christophers and The Sixteen continue their exploration of his work with a disc of music for the Easter period.

Many of the works on this new recording celebrate the joyful part of Easter - the Resurrection - and the central mass on this disc is the wonderfully inspired Missa Regina caeli. The Mass is based on the well-known, immediately recognisable, plainchant Antiphon Regina caeli and the recording also includes the 8-voice motet of the same name.

As with volumes 1 and 2 this disc also includes three of Palestrina’s settings of the Song of Songs alongside three offertories for the Easter period and the hymn Ad caenam agni providi.

This disc would not be complete, however, without the exquisite 8-voice Stabat Mater - possibly Palestrina’s most famous piece in current times and a work that emphasises the other side of the Easter story - the agony and pain of the Crucifixion.


Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525-1594)

1. Stabat Mater a8
2. Ad caenam agni providi (Hymn) ("At the feast made ready by the Lamb")

Song of Songs, Nos 4-6
3. Vineam meam non custodivi ("My own vineyard have I not kept well")
4. Si ignoras te, O pulchra ("If thou know not, O fair among women")
5. Pulchrae sunt genae tuae ("Thy cheeks are as beautiful as doves")

6. Regina caeli a8 ("Queen of heaven, rejoice")

Three Offertories for the Easter period
7. Improperium exspectavit cor meum ("My heart hath expected reproach")
8. Confitebor tibi Domine ("I will acknowledge thee, O Lord")
9. Terra tremuit ("The earth trembled and was still")

Missa Regina Caeli
10. Kyrie
11. Gloria
12. Credo
13. Sanctus
14. Benedictus
15. Agnus Dei I, II & III

Composer Info

Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525-1594)

CD Info

CD COR16106