John Speller's Web Pages Palestrina, O Savior of the world

John Speller's Web Pages - Palm Sunday and Passiontide
Palestrina, O Savior of the world Untitled Untitled Untitled
This is one of those many fine pieces of music, such as the Sicilienne of Maria Theresia von Paradis, Purcell's Trumpet Voluntary, Albinoni's Adagio for Strings and Organ and Mozart's Twelfth Mass, that have been deliberately misattributed. The soprano part in fact comes from the motet, Adoremus te Christe by Francesco Rosselli aka François Roussel (c. 1510-1577), and was elaborated and made into an anthem of the same name by an unknown Victorian, who, however, deliberately misattributed it to Palestrina. This was doubtless in the hope that it would sell more copies and thus make more money under Palestrina's name than it would under either Rosselli's or his own. Another unknown Victorian, perhaps William A. Pond, Jr., who was probably unaware that it was not actually by Palestrina, took this and edited it with an English text as O Savior of the world. In this form it was published by William A. Pond & Co., of New York, in 1875. The text, from the Book of Common Prayer, is found in the orders both for the Good Friday Liturgy and the Visitation of the Sick. In spite of its questionable provenance, it makes a nice little choir anthem, and is a pleasant change from the Goss.

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"The Crucifixion," studio of Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680)
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