O Magnum Mysterium

Christmas Motets from Renaissance Europe

Fortuna -- Patricia Petersen, director

Recorded January, February, and September 1992, at Grace Lutheran Church and at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, Durham, North Carolina.

Recording Engineer: Dwight Robinett
Design: The Philidor Company, Boston
Cover art: "Madonna and Child," c. 1628 - 30, by Guido Reni (Italian, 1575 - 1642), courtesy of the North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Lee Humber. Used by permission.
Total playing time: 68:55


  • Tomás Luis de Victoria
    • Ecce Dominus venient / Ecce apparebit Dominus
    • Conditor alme siderum
    • Magi viderunt stellam
    • O magnum mysterium
  • Adrian Willaert
    • O magnum mysterium / Ave Maria
    • Mirabile mysterium
  • Josquin Desprez
    • Mittit ad Virginem / Accede, nuncia
    • O admirabile commercium / Quando natus est / Rubem quem viderat / Germinavit radix Jesse / Ecce Maria
  • Luca Marenzio
    • Hodie Christus natus est
  • Cristóbal de Morales
    • Cum natus esset Jesus / At illi dixerunt / Et ecce stellam
    • Ecce virgo concipiet
  • Giovanni Pierluigi de Palestrina
    • Dies sanctificatus
    • Canite tuba in Sion / Rorate cæli desuper
  • Francisco Guerrero
    • Canite tuba in sion / Rorate cæli desuper
  • Jakob Handl
    • Four motets: Dies sanctificatus, Resonet in laudibus, Pueri concinite, Domus pudici

About the Performers

Fortuna is an a cappella ensemble based in the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina. Founded in 1984, the group of 15 - 18 singers specializes in sacred music of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.

Sara ArmentroutDavid DodsonMary Hunter
Annette BandyVivian FinkelsteinKay Johnson
Jill BeimdiekGary HessKent Mulliken
Lisa BrownPhillip HopkinsCharlotte Runde
Rick BurtsMyrick HowardSusan Swanson
Claire CastnerLarry HubbardDouglas Young

Patricia Petersen holds an M.F.A. in Early Music Performance from Sarah Lawrence College. She is a free-lance teacher of recorder and early music in central North Carolina and at workshops throughout the U. S. and in Canada and Australia. She was a founding member of Cappella Nova, appearing on its recordings with Musical Heritage Society. Inspired by its director Richard Taruskin and his approach to the sacred music of the Renaissance, she co-founded Fortuna after moving to North Carolina, and became its director shortly thereafter. A former Musician in Residence at North Carolina State University, she has coached early music groups there, at Wake Forest University, and at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She has been a regular faculty member at Amherst Early Music workshops for many years.

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