Renaissance: The Earthquake Mass

Essence of the Renaissance is a Spotify playlist with renaissance music.

Antoine Brumel was a French renaissance composer that was born in 1460 and was believed to have died in 1512.

Brumel is most famous for his masses but he also wrote Motets, chansons and some instrumental music.

Missa Et ecce terrae motus, or “The Earthquake Mass”, is a very unusual piece of music in many ways. First, it is written in 12 parts. Most polyphonic music from the renaissance are written in 3 or 4 parts, some may have up to 5 parts. It is also a huge piece, lasting nearly an hour. The work also is an early example of a more homogenous style of music that Palestrina later would master. The name of the mass comes from the antiphon: “Et ecce terrae motus est” or “And behold, there came a movement of the earth”. The result is a truly extraordinary and unusual work. The slow moving melody is harmonized and ornamented with blocks of harmony and imitating voices.

Enjoy! (click here to open the playlist in spotify).