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Missa de Sancta anna
Pierre de La Rue


Transcription by Frans Wiering

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XML score data: O salutaris hostia

Sources listed in database

Source Loc. Title Voices Attribution
Missa de Sancta anna [incomplete]
O salutaris hostia


MontsM 773
Missa de Sancta anna incipit: MontsM 773
UppsU 76b
Missa de Sancta anna incipit: UppsU 76b

Editor's Commentary

O salutaris hostia

La Rue's O salutaris hostia setting survives in five sources. In three of these (JenaU 7, MontsM 773 and VienNB Mus. 15496) it is part of the Missa de Sancta Anna, where it occupies the place of Osanna I. UppsU 76b and the Occo Codex preserve this piece as an individual composition. Like the Occo Codex, the three sources of the mass were all produced in Petrus Alamire's workshop, and as the differences are only slight it seems likely that they were copied from the same exemplar. UppsU 76b contains a reading of O salutaris hostia with a significant number of errors that belongs to a different line of transmission.1

O salutaris hostia also survives in a manuscript copy by A.W. Ambros, dated 1863 (VienNB 1580, copied after VienNB Mus. 15496). An annotation in the score states that it was performed in 1864-1865. The piece was published in 1882 in the posthumous vol. 5 of Ambros's Geschichte der Musik (edited by Otto Kade). Despite its labeling as a movement from the Missa de sancta Anna, this publication seems to have been the starting-point for its treatment in later research and publication as an independent composition rather than as a mass section only.

La Rue's elegant setting of O salutaris hostia is more elaborate than the two anonymous settings that precede it in the Occo Codex. Like these, it is basically homophonic. There is some contrapuntal elaboration in phrases 1 and 3; phrase 4 develops into imitative texture, which makes it the only setting in the Occo Codex to do so.

[1] The filiation of the sources is discussed in the critical commentaries in Pierre de la Rue, Opera omnia, ed. Nigel St. John Davison, J. Evan Kreider, and T. Herman Keahey, Corpus Mensurabilis Musicae 97 (n.p.: American Institute of Musicology, 1990-), v. 2, pp. lxvii-lxxii, and v. 9, pp. lvi-lx. The Occo Codex and UppsU 76b could not be positioned in the stemma because of the lack of significant variants.

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