The musical texts of a mass belong either to the “Ordinary”, the group of texts that are repeated at every service, or the “Propers”, texts with a meaning specifically appropriate to a particular week or service. The gradual Locus Iste is one of the latter texts, used specifically for the dedication of a church, and Bruckner composed this setting in 1869 for the dedication of the votive chapel in Linz Cathedral.
Bruckner undertook extensive study of counterpoint, and in the simple ternary (ABA) structure of this piece he contrasts homophonic textures in the first section and its recapitulation (Locus iste a Deo factus est, “This place was made by God”) with simple imitative counterpoint for the rest of the text (inaestimabile sacramentum; irreprehensibilis est, “a priceless mystery, it is beyond reproach”).
In this arrangement, either for trombone quartet, or three trombones and tuba, the rich blend of low brass in the outer sections is contrasted with the expressive solo lines of the central section.
- Trombone 1 (Alto)
- Trombone 2
- Trombone 3
- Tuba/Trombone 4 (Bass)