Wednesday, May 4, 2011

They call him "The Prince of Music" for a reason.

I'm not talking about the guy in purple.

Long before there was a King of Rock and Roll or an artist formerly known as anything, there was Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, a gifted 16th century composer, whose work can still be heard in the liturgy as well as in concert halls.

His Sicut Cervus is one of the first pieces of renaissance polyphony I ever heard. It continues to be a particular favorite of mine.  One need not understand the Latin text to appreciate the beauty and meaning in this piece, though it helps:

Sicut cervus desiderat ad fontes aquarum
ita desiderat anima mea ad te Deus.

"As the deer longs for streams of water,
so my soul longs for you, O God."

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