Academic journal article Canadian University Music Review

Hearing the Motet: Essays on the Motet of the Middle Ages and Renaissance

Academic journal article Canadian University Music Review

Hearing the Motet: Essays on the Motet of the Middle Ages and Renaissance

Article excerpt

Dolores Pesce, ed. Hearing the Motet: Essays on the Motet of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. New York: Oxford University Press, 1 997. xii, 380 pp. ISBN 0-19-509709-2 (hardcover); ISBN 0-19-512905-9 (paperback).

Introduction. Dolores Pesce; Conference Introductory Remarks. James Haar; I. Rebecca A. Baltzer, "The Polyphonic Progeny of an Et gaudebit: Assessing Family Relations in the Thirteenth-Century Motet"; 2. Dolores Pesce, "Beyond Glossing: The Old Made New in Mout me Ju grief/Robin m 'aime/Portare"; 3. Anne Walters Robertson, "Which Vitry? The Witness of the Trinity Motet from the Roman de FauveF; 4. Margaret Bent, "Polyphony of Texts and Music in the Fourteenth-Century Motet: Tribum que non abhorruit/Quoniam secta latronum/Merito hec patimur and Its 'Quotations'"; 5. Robert Nosow, "Du Fay and the Cultures of Renaissance Florence"; 6. Rob C. Wegman, "For Whom the Bell Tolls: Reading and Hearing Busnoys's Anthoni usque limina"; 7. Paula Higgins, "Love and Death in the Fifteenth-Century Motet: A Reading of Busnoy s' s Anima mea liquefacta est/Stirps Jesse"; 8. M. Jennifer Bloxam, "Obrecht as Exegete: Reading Factor orbis as a Christmas Sermon"; 9. Richard Sherr, "Conflicting Levels of Meaning and Understanding in Josquin's O admirabile commercium Motet Cycle"; 10. Patrick Macey, "Josquin, Good King René, and O bone et dulcissime Jesu"; 11. Joshua Rifkin, "Miracles, Motivicity, and Mannerism: Adrian Willaert's Videns Dominus fientes sórores Lazari and Some Aspects of Motet Composition in the 1520s"; 12. James Haar, "Lasso as Historicist: The Cantus-Firmus Motets"; 13. David Crook, 'Tonal Compass in the Motets of Orlando di Lasso"; 14. Jessie Ann Owens, "Palestrina as Reader: Motets from the Song of Songs"; 1 5. Joseph Kerman, "On William Byrd' s Emendemus in melius"; 1 6. Craig Monson, "Byrd, the Catholics, and the Motet: The Hearing Reopened."

Whether in response to the relatively recent impulses of the so-called "new musicology" or simply in an effort to seek a new direction for research, many musicologists are turning to multidisciplinary approaches and innovative research methods in their studies of music from the past. Even so, this trend has not completely eclipsed the more traditional analytical studies of the history of music, as can be seen in what appears to be an appropriate balance of "newer" and more "old-fashioned" research styles in the volume of essays entitled Hearing the Motet. This book presents sixteen papers, the majority of which were delivered at the February 1994 conference of the same name held at Washington University in St. Louis. Motets of both the Middle Ages and the Renaissance from late-twelfth-century Paris to beyond the Counter-Reformation are discussed using methodological approaches as varied as the works themselves.

The publisher claims on the jacket that "[i]n Hearing the Motet, top scholars in the field provide the fullest picture yet of the motet's 'music-poetic' nature, investigating the virtuosic interplay of music and text that distinguished some of the genre' s finest work and reading individual motets and motet repertories in ways that illuminate their historical and cultural backgrounds." Indeed, this grand assertion is accurate in its emphasis on how the motet texts are employed in many of the essays to inform analyses of the accompanying music. With reference to the "top scholars" it must be noted that, although this volume is not an exhaustive representation of all current motet research, the impressive list of contributors to Hearing the Motet appears almost like a "who's who" of motet researchers.

In the lengthy introduction (nine pages), editor Dolores Pesce remarks briefly on the nature of the conference Hearing the Motet from where this volume grew, and provides details of style and content for each paper. (Pesce's introduction could conceivably appear as a stand-alone positive and sympathetic book review.) The main focus of both the conference and this book is emphasized by Pesce early in her opening remarks, "The title Hearing the Motet reflects an increasing concern among scholars and performers with bringing to light the diverse ways in which these works may have been heard in their own time" (p. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.