ID YOU KNOW Renaissance composers would often include the names of Catholics from the congregation in the actual motets sung at Mass? There are several famous examples, but here’s one which is not so well known:
* * PDF • Orlando de Lassus “SALVE FESTA DIES”
The piece includes the name of a priest named “Reusch” who was celebrating his first Mass:
Dr. Peter Bergquist (who taught at the University of Oregon for thirty years) is not sure who that priest might have been:
Can you imagine if the polyphonic choir at my wedding sang the name “Jeff Ostrowski” during the piece? People would have been shocked!
This type of thing was often done by rich people getting married; they would commission a special motet for the occasion. Moreover, the composer would frequently make sure the name was REALLY PROMINENT so nobody would miss it. Pretty weird, huh?