Jacob Handl (1550-1591)
Duo Seraphim SATB Double Choir
Born in Slovenia, Jacob Handl (also known as Jacobus Gallus) spent most of his professional life in the service of the Catholic Church in Austria and Bohemia until his untimely death in Prague at the age of 41. Thus, the bulk of his music consists of settings of sacred Latin texts, including 445 motets and twenty masses. Writing at the end of the Renaissance, he crafted a sophisticated synthesis of Franco-Flemish, German, and Italian styles, characterized by a subtle rhythmic imagination and clarity of text. Those features are evident in Duo Seraphim, a motet for double chorus that aptly depicts the antiphonal call-and-response of the heavenly beings seen by the prophet Isaiah in a mystical vision.
The two seraphim called one to the other:
"Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God of Hosts;
all earth is full of his glory!"