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date: 18 January 2020

Toulouse Masslocked

  • Anne Walters Robertson

Extract

A 14th-century mass composition in three voices. This incomplete setting of the Ordinary was added to blank spaces in the plainchant missal F-TLm 94 around 1400 (Kyrie, ff.145v, 147; Credo, f.1; Sanctus, ff.225v–26; Agnus Dei, f.226; Ite missa est, f.147v). The mass lacks a Gloria, and the fragmentary Credo, which includes only the tenor voice from the word ‘Crucifixus’ to the end, must be completed from the concordances found in F-APT 16bis, SERc, I-IV, and in the Barcelona Mass. The Agnus, which is also found in a manuscript in the Gerona Cathedral library, may likewise have connections with the repertories of southern Avignon. The Sanctus and Agnus were entered together in the manuscript, and an annotation following the Agnus tells where to find the Ite missa est; these indications suggest that the mass was intended as a unit.

The style of the mass, like that of other 14th-century polyphonic cycles, varies from one movement to the next. The Credo, Agnus and Ite are composed in the manner of solo song: an active upper voice is supported by a slower, untexted tenor and contratenor. The Kyrie and Sanctus, by contrast, look like motets, with the two upper lines moving at about the same rate. These two latter movements also differ in detail: the Sanctus frequently uses voice pairing, while the Kyrie rarely employs it. Both contain hocket passages, however, in contrast with the remaining movements. The Agnus is troped with ‘Rex immense pietatis’, and the Ite with ‘Laudemus Jesum Christum’. The final word (‘gratias’) of the Ite hints that the movement may have been intended as a Benedicamus domino trope. The mass is edited in Harder (...

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