Nicholas Gombert's Salve Regina

1947 Words8 Pages
Gombert’s Salve Regina is a contrapuntal “tour de force” (Saturday Chorale, 2013) displaying technical and seamless virtuosity. Published in 1541, in a Venetian book of four-part motets, it displays compositional features typical of both the Franco-Flemish style of writing and of the wider Renaissance motet genre. This essay will examine the compositional techniques and resources used, that make up this intricate piece as a whole. Nicholas Gombert was a South Netherlandish composer, born in 1495. Gombert was a singer and unofficial court composer in Emperor Charles V’s imperial chapel from 1526, travelling with the court from Flanders to Italy, Spain, Germany and Austria. Although he visited many countries, he retained his own national style of writing, though often influencing the native writers of the country the court was visiting. This setting of the Salve Regina would…show more content…
This could be an influence from 15th Century French contrapuntal church music, as this stylistic feature at the close of a piece was in common use there. However, since Gombert remained loyal to his Flemish compositional roots, this is unlikely. It could also indicate that Gombert was experimenting with the possibility of what we now describe as tonality. Throughout the motet, the listener is unsure as to whether the piece is completely modal, or on the verge of being described as a piece of modern tonality. From one perspective, Gombert wrote in a modal style throughout his sacred and secular works, so this piece would be no exception to the norm; it could be labelled as in the Hypodorian (plagal) mode, due to the use of D as the finalis, F as the dominant, and A as the start of the modal scale. Modality is also indicated through the use of the partial key signature (a commonly used Renaissance feature, where the Cantus part has a different key signature to the other parts), as B flat is used in plagal

    More about Nicholas Gombert's Salve Regina

      Open Document