Jacobus Clemens non Papa (c.1510-c.1555) was prolific and his music published widely (15 masses, 200 motets, etc).
The Mass Ecce quam bonum, based on one of his own five-voice motets, is set for four voices until the Sanctus, where a second tenor is added, with a canon at the unison. In the motets there are musical equivalents to the similes in the texts, e.g. falling thirds for ointment running down Aaron's beard; the motto plus ultra, in celebration of Philip II's investiture as Emperor, is represented by the top voice reaching up to and surpassing the top note of its usual range.
Nicely sung by a new choir formed in Oxford, and with good explanatory notes by its musicologist conductor; full texts with translations in Signum's usual exemplary type-setting.
Copyright © 2004, Peter Grahame Woolf