Motet pour La Sainte Vierge
for bass (F-e'),and continuo
In 1703, Bernier published his first book of motets for 1, 2, and 3 voices, and in 1713 his second book. A collection of motets was published posthumously in 1741. Some motets also survive in manuscript, in collections by several composers. The present work is taken from such a collection in a manuscript volume (Music Library, University of California, Berkeley, Manuscript MS 773), containing 19 motets ascribed to Bernier.
Alma redemptoris mater is one of the four antiphons of the Blessed Virgin Mary, sung at the end of Compline. Its origin is unknown, but the plainsong melody associated with it has formed the basis for numerous compositions in the medieval and renaissance periods. By the time of Bernier, settings of the Alma redemptoris mater were commonly performed as separate motets.