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Giulio Cesare Gabucci
c.1555 - 1611
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G.C. Gabucci
Giulio Cesare Gabucci -Gabussi, Gabusi, Gabutio, Gabutius- (c.1555 - 1611) was an Italian composer. He was born in Bologna and studied under Constanzo Porta (c.1529-1601). Gabucci became maestro di Cappella in Loreto at Fiorli Catedral (with famous frescoes by Melozzo da Forli (1438-1494)) and some later maestro di Cappella in 1583 at the Cathedral (Domo) of Milan. Between March 1601 and July 1602 as so many Italian he was employed by the King Sigismund III Vasa (Zygmunt III 1566-1632) of Poland in Warsaw in his founded “Italian Chapel” (in 1595) where a lot of Italian musicians were employed. In total over 130 musicians were employed. Investigations have learned recording of 100 names as Royal Chapel members from Italy. Of course a lot of scholars among them but we mention important maestro’s like Luca Marenzio (c.1553-1599), Asprillo Pacelli (c.1570-1623), Giovanni P. Anerio (c.1567-1630), Bertolusi (c.1580-1608), Annibale Stabile (c.1535-1595), Tarquinio Merula (c.1590-1665) and Marco Scacchi (c.1600-1662). In the late 1602 Gabucci returned to his homeland and to Milan to take up his former duties as maestro di cappella at the Cathedral, where he passed away in 1611. Gabucci published about 44 sacred works and more madrigals. His early motets and madrigals (primo et secondo libro de madrigali , 5vv Venice 1580 and 1598) are set in Late Renaissance style but his later sacred music is more Baroque.
Author: Wim Goossens
Versa est in luctum
Period:Late Renaissance
Composed in:1605
Musical form:motet à 5 vocibus inaequales
Text/libretto:Latin Officium Defunctorum
Versa est in Luctum is a plainchant from the Responsorium de Officium Defunctorum a Respond from Matins of the Dead set by Giulio Gabucci in a motet for five voices (CATTB). The Versa est in luctum is an old Responsorium and even used and set by for instance by Francisco de Peñalosa (c.1470-1528), Alonso Lobo (c.1535-1617), Tomás Luis de Victoria (1548-1611), Sebastián de Vivanco (c.1550-1622), Estêvão Lopes Morago (c.1575-1630), Juan Gutiérrez de Padilla (c.1590-1664), Juan Miquel Marqués (1600-1699) and José de Torres y Martinez Bravo (1665-1738). Those settings from “Versa est in luctum” have to be considered as an Iberian Requiem inheritance. Although out of the Iberian we saw Versa est in luctum settings by the Italian Alexandro Grandi (1586-1630), Andrea Rota (1553-1597), Anselmo di Facio (1590-1610) and by the Netherlandish Gerard Dericke ( 1540-1580), who worked in UK. There are about 138 Responsoria de Officium Defunctorum known and used during centuries in the Office of the Dead. They are all well ordered. The Versa est in Luctum is Respond nr 95. To this Repond belongs Versicle nr. 43 “Cutis mea.” The text is from the book of Job Ch30 V-31 & Ch7 V-16b and has become in certain European regions a Respond from the Office of the Dead. This variation of the Respond is found with some introductions in two Offices of the Dead in Lyon and in Otto of Riedenburg’s Pontifical. And from there it is spread into Europe. The text Versa est in luctum was not a direct part of the traditional Spanish liturgy but much more an extra-liturgical motet during the Obsequies of very important dignitaries of State or Church. We think like his teacher did Gabucci must have found special inspiration in this motet, especially for funeral purposes. Gabucci uses here in accordance with the Iberian tradition the short text. The text of this motet used by Gabucci is known and are verses from the Book Job as we already mentioned. The text and music of this motet Versa est in luctum are penitential in feeling. Gabucci did not use the belonging Versicle “Cutis mea” and did not use the repetition of the last part of the Respond. He sets this motet in a more imitative polyphonic counterpoint style. The not used text is placed by us between brackets see below. Gabucci sets this motet in an imitative counterpoint style (Alto starts, followed by Canto, Tenore, Quinto en Basso) with two main motives. Three voices Canto, Quinto and Tenore start with an ascending motive ( e-e-f#-g-a-g#-a) in “Versa est in Luctum” in a low austere approach with an syncope on a “Luc-tum”. Two voices answer with a-c#. (see Ms 1-22). The highest note is the score an d2 and the lowest great E so Gabucci sets this motet in a low texture. Gabucci uses in this motet more flats and sharps, some dissonant notes and syncope’s to underline the mourning feeling of the text. See another remarkable moving descending semitone followed by an ascending semitone on “Parce mihi / spare me“ in Tenor (Ms 42-43), Cantus (Ms 47-48) and Bassus (Ms 44-45) but all starting with a syncope! More syncope’s we see at the word “nihil / nothing” (Quintus Ms 48; Cantus Ms 49; Altus Ms 54; Cantus Ms 54; Quintus Ms 58; Bassus Ms 58; Cantus Ms 61).This creates a rhythmic and emotional tension. As Italian Gabucci should be more oriented to Rome, seen the instructions issued by the Council of Trent, but really not in this motet. There are some Baroque ornamental elements in this motet due to time (1605) this motet was set. This motet consists out of 65 measure and is set in E-Phrygian. This setting by Gabcci is published in Nova Metamorfosi de diversi autori, libro secondo a cinque voci, Milano, A. Tradate, MDCV, 1605.
Author:Wim Goossens
R. Versa est in luctum cithara mea et organum meum in vocem flentium.
Parce mihi Domine, quia nihil enim sunt dies mei.
[V. Cutis mea denigrata est super me et ossa mea aruerunt.]
[R. Parce mihi Domine, nihil enim sunt dies mei.]
R. My harp is tuned for lamentation and my organ into the voice of those who weep.
Spare me, my Lord, since my days are nothing.
[V. My skin is black upon me, and my bones are burned with heat].
[R. Spare me, [my] Lord, since my days are nothing.
Contributor:Wim Goossens