During the 1620s, most of Monteverdi's published music consisted of sacred pieces he contributed to anthologies compiled by colleagues or former students of his. Cremonese musician Giulio Cesare Bianchi, who began his studies of music composition under Monteverdi, went on to publish anthologies in which he included the master's work. Bianchi's Libro primo de motetti in lode contains mostly his own work, but also features four motets by Monteverdi, all of which were composed a cappella with basso sequente. Monteverdi was now the maestro di cappella at St. Marks in Venice, and the grandiose performances of his sacred music he was directing there were winning great favor. Anthologies like Bianchi's were surely intended to announce that a profound change had come in the composition of sacred music.
Adoramus te is a lovely choral piece produced at a time when the solo voice had mostly ousted vocal polyphony. As part of his duties at St. Marks, Monteverdi had to provide new music each year for the festival of the Holy Cross, which takes place in late May. Adoramus te, and its companions in Bianchi's volume, were doubtlessly produced for this feast. Adoramus te is one of the more impressive pieces. Ecstatic in tone, it is composed in relatively short, bold, dignified statements of various combinations of voices. Like a number of these later choral pieces, Adoramus benefits immensely in sonority from the addition of a non-vocal bass. There are purely choral passages, in which all the voices have equal share, but far more monodic passages in which a single voice, usually alto, soprano, or bass, is clearly the melody-bearer, surging out above the rest as on a powerful wave. And powerful is the word, not in emotional ferocity but in sheer hugeness of sound. That said, purely choral passages are gigantesque chordal vocalizations, bursting with feeling, surges of gorgeous, and lush dissonance.