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Orazio Vecchi
1550 - 1605
Orazio Vecchi
Orazio Vecchi (06/12/1550 - 19/02/1605), an Italian composer and poet. Orazio Vecchi was born in Modena and studied with Salvatore Essenga a monk and received early education at the Benedictine monastery. After his education he was well-known with the composers of the Venetian school i.e. Claudio Merulo (1533-1604) and Giovanni Gabrieli (1555-1612). He was maestro di Cappella at the Salo Cathedral (1581-1584). Until 1586 Vecchi was Choirmaster at the Cathedral of Reggio Emilia. From there he moved to Correggio as a appointed Canon at the Cathedral. Vecchi went back to Modena as choirmaster because he felt himself isolated from the famous music-centers in Italy: Rome; Venice, Florence and Ferrara. In 1598 Duke Cesare d’Este ( 1561-1628) appointed Vechi as ‘Maestro di Corte’. He travelled in 1600 with the duke to Rome and Florence. After that Vecchi returned to Modena to serve at the Cathedral until his death. Vecchi was well known for his madrigals especially his ‘madrigal comedy’. Further Vecchi composed a lot of sacred music. In particular that music shows vast influence of the Venetian School which he admired. See for instance the polychoral setting of Peccantem me quotidie and other settings in the publication by Gardano in 1590.
Author:Wim Goossens
Contributor:Tassos Dimitriadis (picture)
Peccantem me Quotidie
Period:High Renaissance
Composed in:1590
Musical form:Motet à 8 vocibus
Text/libretto:Latin from Responsorium de Officium Defunctorum
The plainchant Peccantem me Quotidie is an old Responsorium/Respond form Matins of the Dead and is published in the Liber Usualis (ed. 1936 page 1797) after Lectio VII/Lesson VII. The plainchant Peccantem me quotidie is an old Respond. There are about 138 Responsoria known used during centuries in the Office of the Dead. This motet Peccantem me Quotidie is written by Vecchi for eight voces ATTB and ATTB in polychoral style, also coro spezzati. Vecchi was impressed by the music of the Venetian composers and was influenced by the Venetian School! Even he worked together with them i.e. Claudio Merulo (1533-1604) and Giovanni Gabrieli (c.1556-1612). Vecchi uses the general text of the Respond but omitted the belonging Versicle “Deus in nomine tuo”. This motet is set by Vecchi in the Polychoral style and that’s real exceptional to the occasion. We mentioned this already here in this site while describing pieces by Gabrieli and Serafino Cantone (1565-1630) and some others already mentioned in this website Franciscus Binacardius (c.1572-1607) and Hans Leo Hassler ( 1564-1612). Vecchi starts with a modest short imitative polyphonic style in choir-I. Vecchi uses in general some dissonances to express his feeling to the text and uses low texture. From bar 9 starts the alternation between the two choirs. In “Quia in inferno” Vecchi creates an austere sphere with low notation in both choirs. Vecchi uses word painting in the words “Timor mortis” in Choir-I by using three long notes (III-brevis). This motet ends with a conclusion and hope, et salva me! The motet is set in E Phrygian-mode. This motet consists out of 48 bars and is published in MOTECTA HORATII/VECHII MUTINENSIS/CANONICVS CORIGIENSIS/ Quaternis, Quinis, Senis, &/Octonis Vocibus./Nunc Primum in lucem edita./SERENISSIMO PRINCIPI GVGLIELMO,/ Palatino, Rheni Comiti, & vtriusque Bava-/riae Duci. & c. Dicata./CVM PRIVILEGIO./Venetijs Apud Angelum Gardanum.//M. D. LXXXX. The present motet is no. 27 in this publication.
Author:Wim Goossens
R. Peccantem me quotidie et non penitentem,
Timor mortis conturbat me.
Quia in inferno nulla est redemptio.
Miserere mei, Deus, et salva me.

R. Every day I sin and I am impenitent.
The fear of death troubles me:
For in hell there is no redemption.
Have mercy upon me, O God, and save me.
Contributor:Wim Goossens
Missa pro defunctis
Period:High Renaissance
Composed in:1590c
Musical form:mass
Text/libretto:Latin mass
Missa pro defunctis published in Selectis novus missarum, v. 2, ed. by C. Proske. dd. 1861.
Domine, quando veneris
Period:High Renaissance
Composed in:1590c
Musical form:Motet à 5 vocibus inaequalibus
Text/libretto:Latin from a Responsorium de Officium Defunctorum
Domine, quando veneris is a plainchant from the Responsorium de Officium Defunctorum Ad Matutinum and de text is set by Orazio Vecchi for five voices (ATTTB). The Domine, quando veneris is an old Responsorium, Respond and still published in the old Liber Usualis page 1787 and is sung after Lectio III in the Office of the Dead.
This motet (in total 50 bars) consists out of the Respond and is written by Vecchi for five voices in polyphonic imitative style. The corresponding Versicle ‘Commissa mea’ is omitted by Vecchi. This motet starts in imitative style with Altus, followed by Cantus, Quintus, Altus and Bassus. Cantus, Altus and Quintus starts in imitating each other a same phrase, so does Altus and Bassus a quint higher. Vecchi uses a low texture and creates an austere sphere. The Cantus is not higher set than up to d3. The other four voices are set for male voices. Of course the Cantus can be sung by a low counter/altus. Vecchi uses flats en sharps to underline his feelings. This short Respond ends in D Dorian-mode.
This Respond is published in MOTECTA HORATII/VECHII MUTINENSIS/CANONICVS CORIGIENSIS/ Quaternis, Quinis, Senis, &/Octonis Vocibus./Nunc Primum in lucem edita./SERENISSIMO PRINCIPI GVGLIELMO,/ Palatino, Rheni Comiti, & vtriusque Bava-/riae Duci. & c. Dicata./CVM PRIVILEGIO./Venetijs Apud Angelum Gardanum.//M. D. LXXXX. The present motet is nr. 12 in the publication.
Author:Wim Goossens
Text Domine quando veneris:
R. Domine quando veneris judicare terram,
ubi me abscondam a vultu irae tuae?
Quia peccavi nimis in vita mea.

R. O Lord, when Thou shall come to judge the earth,
where shall I hide from the face of Thy wrath?
For I have sinned greatly in my life.
Contributor:Wim Goossens
Missa pro Defunctis
Period:Late Renaissance
Composed in:1612
Musical form:mass
Text/libretto:Latin mass
Label(s):Glossa Music GCD P32113
This Missa pro defunctis (Antwerp, 1612) contains:
1. Requiem aeternam
2. Kyrie
3. Si ambulem
4. Dies irae
5. Domine Jesu Christe
6. Sanctus
7. Agnus Dei
8. Lux aeterna
9. Libera me Domine
Schmelzer believes, based on the research of others, that the Requiem played at the funeral of Peter Paul Rubens in 1640 was that written by the Italian composer Orazio Vecchi, published in Antwerp in 1612. The Requiem is in some ways anomalous, with a polyphonic Dies Irae and pre-Tridentine graduale "Si ambulem" instead of the usual "Requiem aeternam", and a cut down offertorium. Graindelavoix in their performance are relatively restrained by their own standards perhaps sensitive to the nature of the piece. The disc is completed by a number of mass movements also published in Antwerp, "incredible polyphony in the midst of the Calvinist Republic" as Schmelzer describes it. First, the Kyrie, Sanctus & Agnus Dei from George de la Hèle's "Missa Praeter Rerurm Serium" of 1578, a parody of Cipriano de Rore's mass of the same name, itself a parody of Josquin's motet, perhaps not imparting the same kind of portentous and foreboding mood as those earlier works, but equally beautiful, a certain lightness and playfulness in the performance with the vocalists set free from the solemnity of the Requiem. These are followed by two further Agnus Dei (Agni Dei?) from Pedro Ruimonte ("Missa Ave Virgo Sanctissima", 1604) and Duarte Lobo ("Missa Dum Aurora", 1639).
Source:E.L. Wisty
Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640)
(performed at his funeral in 1640)