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José de Torres y Martinez Bravo
1665 - 1738
Spain
No picture
J. de Torres y
Martinez Bravo
Jose de Torres y Martinez Bravo (1665 - 04/06/1738), a Spanish composer, born in Madrid.
Source:Propylaën - Welt der Musik - Die Komponisten
Versa est in luctum
Period:Baroque
Composed in:1700
Musical form:Motet à 4 vocibus
Text/libretto:Latin Officium Defunctorum
Duration:1’57”
Label(s):G 49064
Versa est in Luctum is a plainchant from the Responsorium de Officium Defunctorum/Responsory from Matins of the Dead set by José de Torres y Martinez Bravo in a motet for four voices (CTTB). The Versa est in luctum is an old Responsorium and even used and set by for instance 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) and in this case José de Torres y Martinez Bravo (1665-1738). Those settings from “Versa est in luctum” have to be considered as an Iberian inheritance. 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. The belonging Versicle nr. 43 Cutis mea is not set by de Torres and is in the text below placed between brackets. The text is from the book of Job and has become in certain European regions a Respond in the Office of the Dead. This Respond is found with some introductions in two Offices of the Dead in Lyon. And from there it is spread over Europe. The settings in Spain and Portugal are taken from contemporary chant books containing responds which are deemed suitable for funeral purposes. In some instances, a motet was sung between the oration and the absolution. It was in any case traditional at this time to include some extra motets at the end of a Requiem Mass.
Beside the Versa est in luctum , the Sitivit anima mea and the Non mortui by Manual Cardoso (1566-1750) and the Sitivit anima mea by Pedro de Cristo (c.1540-1618) set by two Portuguese composers and present in this website have the same function. 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. De Torres and the other composers mentioned above must have found special inspiration in it, especially for funeral purposes. Those composers did it in an excellent but different way of character, due in the period they lived and the skills they had.
Perhaps this Versa est in luctum is written by the death of Carlos II (1661-1700). But we are not quite sure. This four part motet by de Torres – one of the Baroque-part settings of Versa est in Luctum – starts with Altus, followed by Tenor, Bassus and Cantus. The Altus and Bassus start in the middle their respective 2nd bar with a moving upwards minor-sixth, contrary to that the Tenor and Cantus start in the middle of their respective 2nd bar with a moving downwards minor-sixth. But see indeed too the interesting starting notes before the sixth. This motet has a steady contrapuntal flow, but in Baroque texture and is set with the same tension we saw in the renaissance settings of Versa est in luctum.
In underlining the text: the Parce mihi Domine/Spare me Lord is set in homophonic style. This total motet consists out of 35 bars.
De Torres uses some accidentals, some sharps and dissonant has been used to express his feelings. This masterly Versa est in luctum exploits harmony and melody.
This setting by de Torres was found and published in the Missarum Liber, Madrid 1703 and in Archivo del Cabildo Mexico nr.14 , Libros de polifonia de la Catedral metropolitana de Mexico, impresso 1703.
Author:Wim Goossens
Text:
R. Versa est in luctum cithara mea et organum meum in vocem flentium. Parce mihi, Domine, nihil enim sunt dies mei.
[V. Cutis mea denigrate est super me et ossa mea aruerunt.]
[Utinam appenderentur peccata mea,]
[Quibus iram merui et calamitas quam patio in statera.]

Translation:
R. My harp is tuned for lamentation and my organ into the voice of those who weep. Spare me Lord, for my days are as nothing.
[V. My skin is black upon me and my bones are dried up.]
[O that my sins, whereby I have deserved wrath]
[And the calamity that I suffer, were weighed in balance.]
Contributor:Wim Goossens
Defunctorum ad exequias Ludovici Primi Regis mass
Period:Baroque
Composed in:1724
Musical form:mass
Text/libretto:Latin mass
In memory of:King Louis of Spain
Label(s):Discan DCD/165
This Defunctorum ad exequias Ludovici Primi Regis mass might have been written in 1724 for the death of King Louis of Spain (25/08/1707 – 31/08/1724).
Source:Propylaën - Welt der Musik - Die Komponisten, booklet of cd Discan DCD/165 and http://www.trito.es/eng/default.asp
Contributor:Tassos Dimitriadis
Picture Picture
King Louis of Spain
(dedicatee)