Early music restitution by Jacques Barbier, original composition by Nicolas Gombert (v.1495 - v.1560): Virgo Sancta Catherina
This votive antiphon for Catherine of Alexandria, already set to music in the « chansonnier de Dijon » manuscript of the 15th century (the composer is unknown), was again set to music in two versions in the following century by Jean Mouton (ca. 1460-1522) and especially Nicolas Gombert (ca. 1495-1560). His version cum vocis paribus, with similar voices, confirms the polyphonic style of the Josquinian school: a fine counterpoint between voices evolving in the same ambitus with varied episodes. The first two-beat part operates by imitations between all the voices, then a central, ternary episode (O filia) privileges the dialogue of two blocks of two voices, A and B versus S and T. The return to binary (O mater nostra) is again imitative composition with beautiful melodic volutes before the sober conclusion on a solid fifth chord.