The Mater Patris mass is one of the stranger pieces composed by Josquin des Prés – it is written in such a peculiar style that it made scholars doubt whether a ‘prince of musicians’ could have written such a composition. The work was created in 1512 and Josquin used as a model for the composition (in keeping with the popular practice of the time) the three-voice motet Mater Patris by Antoine Brumel, who died the same year – perhaps this was supposed to be a kind of tribute by Josquin to his fellow musician. 

The composition was first published in print in 1514 and it is most likely that it arrived at the Wawel Castle in a printed version. The purchase of music publications was probably part of the desire to expand the repertoire of the Rorantists Collegium, especially since they were entrusted with the duty of singing at the solemn masses at the main altar of the cathedral. The imported prints were copied into the partitions (voice books) used by the choristers, and there is every indication that this was to be the case with this mass too. The copyist began by noting the name Mater Patris… and stopped there. Perhaps the musical material seemed too strange to him? Unfashionable? However, the mass was eventually inscribed, albeit by a different hand. This was done by Krzysztof Borek, who made various changes on this occasion. He rearranged the voice parts in places, redistributed the liturgical text differently, shortened or omitted some parts and, above all, added additional voices where Josquin’s put a double voice. Perhaps these duets seemed overly anachronistic to Borek, or perhaps at Wawel there was simply a predilection for a full sound of the singing ensemble. To distinguish his version from the original, he deleted the word Patris in the title and wrote Matris. However, it should be noted that in the Borek’s version, there is not a single bar without Josquin.  

The Missa Mater Matris, which remains an extremely interesting testimony to the reception of Josquin’s compositions in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth of the Renaissance period, was prepared for contemporary listeners by the Jerycho vocal ensemble – and will be performed in the place where this music resounded almost five centuries ago. 

The programme will be complemented by appropriate chorale and polyphonic works from the Wawel Cathedral tradition (the anonymous Ite Missa est, Alleluia), as well as mass motets and the sequence Inviolata by Josquin, which was copied into the Wawel partitions in the 18th century. This is testimony to the truly long tradition of performing the polyphony of the ‘prince of musicians’ in Kraków. 

The concert will be preceded by a meeting organised within the Listening Keys series. 





Bartosz Izbicki – conductor 



Josquin des Prés (ca. 1455 – 1521) 

Missa Mater Matris from the repertoire of the Wawel Rorantist Collegium 


Introitus: Vultum tuum (plainchant) 

Josquin des Prés Vultum tuum (motet) 

Josquin des Prés / Krzysztof Borek (d. 1573) Missa Mater Matris: Kyrie  

Josquin des Prés / Krzysztof Borek Missa Mater Matris: Gloria  

Alleluia: Ora pro nobis sancta Dei Genitrix (anonymous, from Wawel partitions) 

Josquin des Prés / Krzysztof Borek Missa Mater Matris: Credo  

Offertorium: Ave Maria ( ) 

Josquin des Prés / Krzysztof Borek Missa Mater Matris: Sanctus  

Josquin des Prés Honor et benedictio (motet) 

Josquin des Prés / Krzysztof Borek Missa Mater Matris: Agnus Dei  

Communio: Ecce Virgo (plainchant) 

Ite missa est (anonymous, from Wawel partitions) 

Josquin des Prés Ora pro nobis (motet) 

Josquin des Prés Inviolata (prosa) 


LISTENING KEYS: Around Josquin des Prés 

1 April 2024, Easter Monday | 7:00 pm  |Potocki Palace, Rynek Główny 20 

Delving into deeper layers of music is often seen as the key to achieving a full understanding of this art, which is usually perceived intuitively. In order to fully understand its subtleties, it is crucial that the listener hones their listening skills and seeks the right words to describe their experiences and impressions. This is the aim of the Listening Keys – a series of meetings with a musician, who will equip the audience with these very tools. The participants will have an opportunity to explore selected pieces in depth, as well as to discover the hidden beauty and context of the musical stories woven by the most outstanding composers of past eras. 

The meeting will be an opportunity to meet Josquin des Prés and explore his works in the context of musical inspirations and trends of the times. This encounter with the Prince of Musicians will enable the participants to discover his techniques, as well as learn about the story of the Missa Mater Matris, which had a thing or two to do with Krzysztof Borek, the composer of the Wawel Castle… 


Aleksander Mocek

Entry with a ticket to the Grands Concerts concert on the same day.