Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy





Committee Chair

Kenneth Richard Kreitner


The first part of this dissertation is about some chosen motets by Costanzo Festa (c. 1490-1545), the first important Italian renaissance composer, while the second is devoted to the anonymous six-voice motet Ave rosa speciosa in the manuscript VatC 234 (“Chigi Codex”). The aim of this study is to investigate the motets in liturgical, political, and artistic context as well as to raise some questions concerning their attribution and dissemination. Chapter one draws together the most important evidence from a variety of secondary sources in order to point to problems concerning genre definition, designation, function, and characteristics of the motet as cultivated in the Renaissance. Chapter two is devoted to Festa’s biography, as some facts from his life may help to understand the circumstances of his motets. Chapter three is a brief overview of the origin and development of polytextual motets because the following three chapters deal with three such motets; in chapter four I argue that Festa’s Super flumina Babylonis may have been written for the death of Heinrich Isaac; on the basis of some textual amendments and political context I will argue in the chapter five that Festa’s Dominator caelorum may have been written for the meeting between Charles V and Pope Clement VII in Bologna in late 1529 and early 1530; similarly, I suggest in the chapter six that the anonymous motet O altitudo divitiarum from the manuscript VatS 38, attributed to Festa by Llorens, may have been intended for the peace treaty in Nice in 1538. Chapter seven asks some provocative questions concerning stylistic context and authorship of two settings of Da pacemone from a manuscript BolQ 19 and another one, possibly written by Festa, from VatS 18. In chapter eight I suggest that although Festa’s motet Sancta Maria succurre miseris is assumed not to be based on chant material, it does seem to draw some melodic material from chant and shares it with some other works by Festa’s contemporaries. Chapter nine is mainly focused on Festa’s little setting of the text from the Song of SongsQuam pulchra es, which later became a model for Monteverdi’s motet included in the collection Sacrae cantiunculae of 1582. The subject of the part two of the dissertation is the anonymous Ave rosa speciosa from the Chigi Codex. The analysis of its meaning and purpose in the context of other motet traits permit us to suggest that the motet may have been intended either as the rosary motet or for the feast of the Immaculate Conception. A further chapter titled “Looking for a composer of Ave rosa speciosa” an attempt is made to find a composer for the motet and see the motet in a broad stylistic context.


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Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.