Et incarnatus est
Obrecht sets the section of the Creed narrating the Incarnation, birth, crucifixion and burial of Christ as a duet for soprano and alto voices, without cantus firmus. Imitation between voices, a technique used only sparingly in this
Mass, is here employed to suggest generation of one thing from another – Christ’s Incarnation from the Holy Spirit, and his birth from the Blessed Virgin.
In the Middle Ages it was customary for the celebrant, his ministers, and those attending the Mass to kneel during the Et incarnatus, and to remain kneeling through the phrase “et sepultus est” (and was buried). This is precisely the segment of text Obrecht set in this duet.
For more information, see:
Crocker, Richard L., and David Hiley. 2001 “Credo.” Grove Music Online. 22 Jul. 2018. www.grovemusiconline.com
Strohm, Reinhard. Music in Late Medieval Bruges. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1985. See it particular pp. 146-48.
Wegman, Rob C. Born for the Muses: The Life and Masses of Jami) Obrecht. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994. See in particular pp. 169-74.