Open main menu

Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 10.djvu/663

This page needs to be proofread.




archaic, and not at all comparable to the work of Power or Dufay. He died in 1460. Like Dufay, he was a priest and canon of Mons. From 1435 to 1480 the motet was treated by such masters as Caron, Okeghem, and Obrecht, and though the style is far in advance of similar compositions of the mid- fifteenth century, not many of the surviving specimens can compare with the best efforts of Power and Dufay. Okeghem was a priest, and was principal chaplain to Charles VII of France and to Louis XI, being subse- quently made canon and treasurer of St. Martin's at Tours. His motet, "Alma Redemptoris", displays much contrapuntal ingenuity, and he also wrote a motet for thirty-six voices, probably performed by six choirs of six voices each.

But it is between the years 1480 and 1.520 that the motet as an art-form progressed, favoured by the nas- cent devices of the modern school, with Josquin Des- pres as leader. The outstanding feature of the mo- tets of this period is the extraordinary skill displayed in weaving melodious counterpoint around a short phrase of plainchant or secular melody. Josquin (Canon of St-Quentin) stands head and shoulders over his fellows, and his motets were among the earli- est printed by Petrucci, in 1502-05. In all, one hun- dred and fifty of his motets have been printed, the best known being the beautiful one, founded on the plain- chant theme of "Requiem ieternam", on the death of his master Okeghem, and the settings of the genealo- gies in the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Luke. His fellow-pupil, Pierre de la Rue, also composed some charming motets, of which twenty-five have been printed. One of the best known is founded on a theme from the Lamentations of Jeremias. Another famous motet-writer of this period was Eleazar Genet, better known as Carpentras (from the place of his birth), a priest and papal nuncio. His " Motetti della corona" were published by Petrucci, in 1514, but he is best known for his "Lamentations", which contin- ued to be sung by the pontifical choir at Rome until 1587. A third motet-writer was Jean Mouton, canon of St-Quentin, whose "Quam pulchra es" has often been ascribed to Josquin. A fourth is Jacques Cl(^m- ent (Clemens non Papa), who issued seven books of motets, published by Phalese (Louvain, 1559). Three typical specimens have been reprinted by Proske in his "Musica divina". Jacob Vaett composed a mo- tet on this French composer's death in 1558. John Dygon, Prior of St. Augustine's, Canterbury, was a composer of motets, one of which was printed by Hawkms. Other English composers who cultivated this art-form in the sixteenth century were: Fayrfax, Tallis (who wrote one in forty parts). Why to. Red- ford, Taverner, and Shepherd. Many of the Latin motets by these musicians were subsequently adapted to English words. Arcadelt, a pontifical singer, com- posed an eight-part Pater Noster; his better known Ave Maria is of doubtful authenticity. Willaert, maestro di cappella at St. Mark's, Venice, and "father of the madrigal", published three collections of mo- tets for four, five, and six voices, not a few of which are extremely inventive and melodious though intri- cate.

The acme of motet composition was reached in the period from l.'jiiO to 1(>20. when Orlandus Lassus (Ro- land lie Lattrc), Pali'slrin:t, .Morales, Anerio, Maren- zio, Byrd, de Hore, Suriano, Nanini, Gabrieli, Croce, and Montevcrde flourished, not forgetting English Catholic composers like Bevin, Richard Dering, and Peter Philips. Palestrina, who has been aptly styled Prince-ps Musicce, composed over 300 motets, some for twelve voices, but mostly for from four to eight voices, of which seven books were printed. One of his ex- quisite motets is, " Fratres, ego enim accepi ", for eight voices, while another is the much simpler "Sicut cer- vus desiderat". Lassus composed 180 Magnificats, and 800 motets. The other masters quoted above

have left us beautiful specimens. However, in the case of Monteverde (1567-1643), he broke away from the old traditions and helped to create the modern school of music, emploj-ing unprepared discords and other harmonic devices. Croce, who was a priest, pubhshed many beautiful motets, including "O sa- crum couNavium". In the mid-seventeenth century, owing to the conflict between the older and the newer schools, no appreciable advance was made in motet- writing. The only two composers who nobly upheld the true polyphonic school were Allegri and Cascio- lini. Allegri was a priest and a pontifical singer, and he is best known by his famous Miserere for nine voices in two choirs. A few of Cascolini's motets are still sung. From 1660 to 1670 the modern type of motet, with instrumental accompaniment, came into vogue, and the ancient ecclesiastical "modal" treat- ment was superseded by the prevalent scale-tonality. The masters of this epoch were Leo, Durante, Scar- latti, Pergolesi, Carissimi, Stradella, and Purcell. During the eighteenth century the motet received adequate treatment at the hands of Johann Sebastian Bach, Keiser, Graun, Hasse, Handel, and Bononcini. A further development, but on different fines, took place during the nineteenth century, specimens of which may be found in the published works of Mozart, Haydn, Cherubini, and Mendelssohn. However, the niotu propria of Pope Pius X has had tlu' linppy ctTect of reviving the polyphonic school of the sixiccnl h and early seventeenth centuries, when the miilct in its truest form was at the height of perfection.

ElTNEH, Quellenlexikon (Leipzig, 1900-04): Grove, Did. of Music and Musicians (new ed., London, 1904-10): Walker, Hist, of Music in England (London, 1907); Dunstan, A Cyclo- pedic Did. of Music (2nd ed., London. 1909).

W. H. Grattan-Flood. Motive. See Moralitt.

Motolinia, Toribio de Benavente, Franciscan missionary, b. at Benavente, Spain, at the end of the fifteenth century; d. in the City of Mexico, 10 .August, 1568. He was one of the first band of Franciscans who sailed for Mexico with Fray Martin de Valencia, and survived all his companions. Upon entering religion, he changed his name of Paredes for that of Benavente, following the then regular custom of the order. As he and his companions, on their way to the City of Mexico, passed through Tlaxcala, the Indians, seeing the humble aspect and ragged habits of the religious, kept repeating to each other the word moto- linia. p^ray Toribio, having asked the meaning of this word and learned that it was the Mexican for poor, said: "It is the first word I have learned in (his lan- guage, and, that I may not forget it, it shall henceforl h be my name." Bernal Diaz del Castillo, an eyewit- ness of the arrival of the first friars, singles Motolinia out from the others, saying of him: "Whatever was given him he gave to the Indians, and sometimes was left without food. He wore very torn clothing and went barefoot, and the Indians loved him much, because he was a holy person." When Motolinia and his companions arrived at the City of Mexico, Cortes went out to receive them, accompanied by all his cap- tains and the chief men of the place. The religious carried wooden crosses in their hands; ("orlcs and with him knelt and ki.sse<l their hands with the deepest respect, and then conducted them to the lodgings prepared for them. The Indians wondered much when they saw those whom they considered 8U))crn:itural beings prostrate at the feet of these humlile and apparently despicable men. Cortes seized the opportunity to address a discourse to the caciques (chiefs) and lords who accompanied him, recommending due veneration and respect, as he him- self had shown, for those who had come to teach them the Christian religion.

When Cortes set out on the expedition to Las Hi- bueras, the influence of Motolinia over the Indiana