By Elizabeth Eva Leach
Published Online (2011)
Introduction: In 1970, Jürg Stenzl published an account of an unusual polyphonic motet copied in a manuscript of chant from a the Abbey of Saint-Maurice in the Valais, Switzerland, together with a transcription of the motet and images of the manuscript. The manuscript, Saint-Maurice MS 4, is a notated gradual of unknown provenance, which has been in the abbey since before 1920. Stenzl noted that the feasts in the gradual suggest that the book as a whole came from Franciscan circles and is not originally from the Valais. On f.123v, a blank page at the end of the Temporale, a hand that Stenzl diagnoses as being a little later than the main hand has added what Stenzl neologizes as a ‘Sanctus Motet’, whose two upper voices, notated in the mensural notation of the ars nova, in tempus perfectum with major prolation, both have texts starting with a triple ‘Sanctus’ invocation and then proceed respectively ‘Exaudi melodiam’ (Triplum) and ‘Alme deus’ (Motetus); the tenor designation is not given.