URING the 1950s, Pope Pius XII added a special feast in honor of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary. 1 The antiphon for the Magnificat—“Beata Mater”—was not invented during the 1950s. It’s a very ancient chant, and Francisco Guerrero wrote an entire Mass based upon it. Throughout the various movements, Guerrero uses the CANTUS FIRMUS in clever ways, demonstrating his mastery of the “architecture” of large musical forms. 2 For example, the entire CREDO is a Canon between Soprano & Alto.
Can you hear what Guerrero does with the CANTUS FIRMUS (“Beata Mater”) in the final movement of this Mass? Do you see how he creates a perfect Canon between Soprano & Tenor?
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NOTES FROM THIS ARTICLE:
1 He did so by means of a special document, explaining why this feast was added.
2 Guerrero’s teacher, Cristóbal de Morales, was also brilliant when it came to such things.