Music for the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed
Monday, 2 November 2009
(Missale Romanum of 1962, 5:30 p.m.)
Missa pro defunctis (Juan Vasquez, c.1500-c.1560)
At the absolution: Libera me, Domine (plainsong, mode i)
A note on Vasquez’s Requiem
Juan Vásquez was a priest and composer of the Spanish Renaissance whose career as an instructor of chant and composer of polyphony took him to the cathedrals at Badajoz (his birthplace), Plasencia, Madrid, and Seville. The setting of the Requiem Mass that the Schola performs today is from a larger setting of the entire Office of the Dead, the Agenda Defunctorum, which Vásquez composed in Seville in 1556. As with the more famous settings of the Requiem by his fellow countrymen Morales and Victoria, the polyphony is sung in alternation with the proper plainchant, which is among the most beautiful of the entire Gregorian repertoire.