Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina
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Palestrina came of age as a musician under the influence of the Northern European style of polyphony, which owed its dominance in Italy primarily to two influential Netherlandish composers, Guillaume Dufay and Josquin des Prez, who had spent significant portions of their careers there. Italy had yet to produce anyone of comparable fame or skill in polyphony.
Alma Redemptoris Mater.
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Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525- 1594) was an Italian composer of the Renaissance. He was the most famous 16th-Century representative of the Roman School of musical composition. Palestrina became famous through his output of sacred music. He had a vast influence on the development of Roman Catholic Church music, and his work can be seen as a summation of Renaissance polyphony.
Alma Redemptoris Mater, or, in English, "Loving Mother of our Saviour," is one of four Liturgical Marian Antiphons (the other three being: Ave Regina Caelorum; Regina Coeli; Salve Regina), and sung at the end of the Office of Compline.
Hermannus Contractus (Herman the Cripple) (1013 - 1054) is said to have composed the Hymn, based on the writings of Saints Fulgentius, Epiphanius, and Irenaeus of Lyon. It is mentioned in "The Prioress's Tale", one of Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. Formerly, it was recited at Compline only from the First Sunday in Advent until the Feast of the Purification (2 February).
Alma Redemptoris Mater, quae pervia caeli
Porta manes, et stella maris, succurre cadenti,
Surgere qui curat, populo: tu quae genuisti,
Natura mirante, tuum sanctum Genitorem
Virgo prius ac posterius, Gabrielis ab ore
Sumens illud Ave, peccatorum miserere.
Loving Mother of our Saviour, hear thou thy people's cry
Star of the deep and Portal of the sky!
Mother of Him who thee made from nothing made.
Sinking we strive and call to thee for aid:
Oh, by what joy which Gabriel brought to thee,
Thou Virgin first and last, let us thy mercy see.