Three sacred chants from Palestrina’s Requiem Mass: Kyrie eleison, Sanctus and Agnus Dei. Use Medieval Chant to create a devotional atmosphere for prayer or for its uplifting transcendental quality.
Wherever there are spiritual melodies, there does the grace of the Spirit come — St. Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain
The Mass is a re-enactment of the Last Supper. It is intended to provide a spiritual connection between man and God. Part of this connection is made through music.
Music has been a part of spiritual tradition for thousands of years the world over. Our spiritual beliefs may differ – yet we can all value the ethereal beauty of these songs. These sacred medieval chants are a treasure for all to enjoy.
Strictly-speaking these compositions are Renaissance polyphony but are so-presented to exemplify the centuries-long development of medieval sacred music. Medieval polyphony was an established liturgy (for over 600 years) alongside other monophonic forms such as Gregorian Chant.
The meaning and use of Latin in each of the songs of Medieval Chant is as follows
Kyrie Eleison (Lord have mercy): is a very old, even pre-Christian, expression used constantly in all Christian liturgies.
Sanctus (Holy): is the last part of the Preface in the Mass, sung in practically every rite by the people (or choir).
Agnus Dei (Lamb of God): is an invocation to The Christ and commonly used during Mass in the Roman Catholic Church.
Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (c. 1525 – 2 February 1594) was an Italian Renaissance composer of sacred music and the best-known 16th-century representative of the Roman School of musical composition. He had a lasting influence on the development of church music, and his work has often been seen as the culmination of Renaissance polyphony.
Medieval music consists of songs, instrumental pieces, and liturgical music from about 500 A.D. to 1400 and has shaped the music we know today.
During the Medieval period the foundation was laid for the music notation and music theory practices that would shape Western music into the norms that developed during the common-practice era. The most obvious of these is the development of a music notational system which enabled composers to write out their song melodies and instrumental pieces on paper. The development of music notation made it easier to spread songs and musical pieces to a larger number of people and to a wider geographic area. However the theoretical advances, particularly in regard to rhythm—the timing of notes—and polyphony—using multiple, interweaving melodies at the same time—are equally important to the development of Western music.
All three compositions used for Medieval Chant are published prior to 1922 and are public domain. All copyright has expired.