Stylistic and conceptual similarities in the psalm settings of Mikołaj Gomółka and Claude Goudimel
1st prize winner of the Friends of Fondren Library Undergraduate Research Awards, 2011.
Polish-language polyphonic music from the Renaissance has been largely ignored in English-language music historical literature. However, this repertory is of the highest quality and is comparable to the output of other Western European composers. Because this music deserves closer study, I explore and compare a portion of the output of Mikołaj Gomółka, a significant exponent of compositional trends in Renaissance Poland, and of Claude Goudimel, a more renowned French composer from the same period. Both of these composers wrote musical settings of vernacular translations of the Psalms of David. Through my study I find that historically, Gomółka’s compositional undertaking reflects many of the same religious and humanistic attitudes as Goudimel’s and that it is a further testament to the religious reform of the era. Furthermore, by examining several Psalm settings by these composers I also prove that Gomółka and Goudimel share many of the same masterful compositional techniques while preserving a distinctively original style.