John Dunstaple: Sancta Maria

As we continue our journey through the Sacred Music of the 15th Century, we feature today a piece from the repertoire of John Dunstaple. Born around 1390 A.D., he entered the service of John of Lancaster, the first Duke of Bedford, and was probably part of his court, when the latter served a Regent of France, for the English Monarch, from 1423 to 1429. It was probably in France that he acquired the style he used in his sacred polyphony. He was one of the three most famous Catholic composers of the 15th Century.

Today, we begin with his Sancta Maria, non est tibi similis, which is an adaptation of the verses also used in the Tota Pulchra Est. Very influential in his century in the British Isles, one can hear the origins of the musical style of English Plainchant in seed, in this piece.

Here is the Libretto for the Antiphon:

Sancta Maria, non est tibi similis
orta in mundo in mulieribu
Florens ut rosa, flagrans sicut lilium,
ora pronobis, sancta Dei genitrix.

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