Diogo Dias Melgaz • Memento homo

Memento homo is, in my opinion, probably one of Diogo Dias Melgaz’s most impressive works, although other works such as In jejunio et fletu also depict quite an amount of expressiveness. This “miniature” motet for four voices (SATB) survives in two 18th-century choir books preserved at the Patriarchal archives in Lisbon and at Évora Cathedral. It is quite impressive how Melgaz emphasises the text’s message Memento homo, quia pulvis in pulverem reverteris (Remember, man, that dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return) using dotted rhythms and short musical figures.

This work was recorded by Pro Cantione Antiqua in their CD dedicated to Melgaz and Morago. I recently found this other version in YouTube by Academia dos Singulares, which uses instruments playing the lower voices. I prepared an edition of this motet for the polyphonia series of the edições mpmp and it is now also part of my PhD.

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. Steve Smith says:

    Beautiful music! Thanks for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The music is so peaceful and the use of dissonance so skillful. I also thank you for bringing this music to us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Melgaz’s use of dissonance is quite interesting. We must thank the ensemble Academia dos Singulares for this fine video.

      Like

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