These Marian antiphon settings sound a conspicuously personal note that we have not previously encountered in liturgical music. That is another aspect of “middling” tone; but it accords well with the votive aspects of Marian worship, the component of the Christian liturgy that in those days was most intensely “personal.” That, too, was something that could be thematized by a knowing composer, especially a knowing churchman-composer. The supreme case in point for a fifteenth-century motet is the third and most splendid setting Du Fay made of the Marian antiphon Ave Regina coelorum, copied into the choirbooks of Cambrai Cathedral in 1465. It is as impressive a motet as Du Fay or anyone ever composed, but it is impressive in an altogether different way from his earlier large-scale motet settings. Where the isorhythmic Nuper rosarum flores (Ex. 8-8) had impressed by its monumentality, Ave Regina coelorum impresses with an altogether unprecedented expressive intensity—unprecedented, that is, within the motet genre.
- Citation (MLA):
- Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 13 Middle and Low." The Oxford History of Western Music. Oxford University Press. New York, USA. n.d. Web. 28 Feb. 2015. <http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume1/actrade-9780195384819-div1-013002.xml>.
- Citation (APA):
- Taruskin, R. (n.d.). Chapter 13 Middle and Low. In Oxford University Press, Music from the Earliest Notations to the Sixteenth Century. New York, USA. Retrieved 28 Feb. 2015, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume1/actrade-9780195384819-div1-013002.xml
- Citation (Chicago):
- Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 13 Middle and Low." In Music from the Earliest Notations to the Sixteenth Century, Oxford University Press. (New York, USA, n.d.). Retrieved 28 Feb. 2015, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume1/actrade-9780195384819-div1-013002.xml