Introitus

ENS.Version 3 | 6.24.13-6.25.13 | 13’
2 Piccolos, 2 Flutes, 2 Oboes, 2 Clarinets, 2 Bassoons/Contrabassoon, 3 Bb Trumpets, 2 Tenor Trombones, Tuba, Glockenspiel, Xylophone, Marimba, Vibraphone

Midi Rendition of I. Lassus
Midi Rendition of II. Richafort
Midi Rendition of III. De La Rue

Download PDF of Score

Introitus

  1. Lassus
  2. Richafort
  3. De La Rue

Not yet ready to begin work on a new composition but looking for a creative outlet, I thought it might be fun to do some arrangements. I’d recently realized three of my favorite Renaissance vocal works were introductions to Requiem masses (Introitus, Missa pro defunctis), so they became my source material.

In the first movement, the Introitus to a mass by Orlande de Lassus (1532-1594), I used a technique resembling bombardon, doubling everything above and below at various octaves to create a huge sound resembling an organ, without adding or altering any pitches.

The second movement is the most complex. The four-part polyphony of Jean Richafort’s (1480-1547) requiem mass is multiplied at various intervals, some ostensibly dissonant, to create a sound inspired by spectral music without any actual spectral computation involved.

In the final movement, a six-part Introitus by Pierre de la Rue (1452-1518), I doubled each part at the octave, third, and fifth (with the occasional fourth), resulting in a weirdly consonant tintinnabulation.

Throughout, these pieces are orchestrated with interesting, changing colors, while above, below, and around them shifting harmonies hover and whirl kaleidoscopically.