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The 10 Greatest Pieces of Music for Easter
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The 10 Greatest Pieces of Music for Easter

By Clive Paget on Apr 8, 2014

Ten of the most inspiring works for Eastertide. Or what would Jesus have had on shuffle for Holy Week?

10. Giovanni Gabrieli: Exultet iam angelica turba (May the host of angels exult)

Music for Passiontide tends to alternate between sorrowful reflections on the death of Jesus and exultant recognition of the Resurrection on Easter Sunday. The Venetian composer Giovanni Gabrieli’s joyous motet Exultet iam angelica turba is very much in the second category. This magnificent seventeen-part setting in four choirs was written to accompany the lighting of the Easter candle in the early hours of Easter morning. A fourteen-part version was published in Gabrieli’s 1615 book but the seventeen-part version has survived, with the three extra parts forming Choir 4, to be sung in a "palchetto” one of the niches inside the Basilica of St Mark.

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