Jacobus Gallus: O magnum mysterium#
Almost nothing is known about the younger years and musical training of Jacobus Gallus (1550 Krain(Slovenia) - 1591 Prague/Bohemia.
After leaving his homeland, Gallus went to Melk Abbey/Lower Austria, and then became a member of the court chapel in Vienna.
Later he also worked in Olmuetz/Moravia und Prague
(Fig. d). He began to compose works for his six-part Opus musicum,
a cycle of motets that would eventually cover the liturgical needs
of the entire ecclesiastical year in 1577. The motet O magnum
mysterium comes from the first volume (printed in 1586) which covers
the period from the first sunday of Advent to the Septuagesima. This
motet for 8 voices gives evidence of Venetian influence in its use of
the coro spezzato technique (= polychorality). (E. Stadler)