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Alexander Utendal
c.1540 - 1581
Belgium / The Netherlands
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A. Utendal
Alexander Utendal -Uttendal, Uetendal- (ca.1540 - 07/05/1581), a Franco-Flemish composer.
Source:Riemann Musik Lexikon
Alexander Utendal (c.1540 - 07/05/1581), a Flemish composer who probably came from Ghent. It is supposed he was born between 1530-1545. Most of his live he spent in serving the house of Habsburg. From 1553 to 1558 he was a choirboy of the chorus at the court of Mary of Hungary. Thereafter from 1564 to 1567 he was alt-singer (alto) at the court of Archduke Ferdinand II, initially in Prague and from 1567 to 1572 in Innsbruck. From 1566 Archduke Ferdinand II becoming governor of Tyrol. Utendal followed his master to Innsbruck. In the Innsbruck court chapel Utendal already instructed the choristers. Alexander Utendal came from the Flemish region, as did many members of the famous ensemble of singers and instrumentalists at the court of Archduke Ferdinand of Tyrol. From 1572 he was appointed deputy Chapel Master ”Vice Kapellmeister” in succeeding Jacques/Jakob Regnart (1540-1599). He still instructed the choristers in the court chapel and he held this position until his death among others rejecting an offer in 1580 to succeed Antonio Scandello (1517-1580) as Kapellmeister of the Dresden court chapel. Due to his position Alexander Utendal wrote mainly church music, which was published in several collections in Nuremberg, some of them of course dedicated to his master/patron Archduke Ferdinand. He published two books of songs, one in 1573 a collection of German songs and the other in 1574 a collection of French songs. His song compositions are in general characterized by the dominance of the upper voice, the text being dramatically treated in madrigal fashion. Utendal derived most of his German songs from traditional and popular sources. As though by a miracle, Utendal’s total oeuvre of sacred music, documented in its entirety in old part-book editions, has been preserved, not in Innsbruck but was scattered amongst many libraries and archives in whole Europe. In 1573 Utendal published in Nuremberg three Masses for 5 and 6 voices and eight Magnificat for 4 voices. In 1570 (by Dieter Gerlach) were published Septem psalmus poenitentialis a 4 vocibus and three volumes Sacrae cantiones for 5, 6 and more voices, were published in 1571, 1573 and 1577. Utendal wrote about eighty-four motets. Furthermore in 1586 years after his death was published a volume with Responsoria. In general in that time (16th century) it was a standard practice at courts where Utendal and De Monte worked to perform the vocal music a capella, with instruments only and thereafter with voices and instruments. Utendal was one of the composers in using first the music cancel-sign to contradict an earlier sharp or flat.
Author:Wim Goossens
Libera me
Period:High Renaissance
Musical form:motet
Text/libretto:Latin mass
Libera me for "bassus, tenor, altus and cantus".
Levavi oculos meos
Period:High Renaissance
Composed in:1568
Musical form:motet à 5 vocibus
Text/libretto:Latin out of Officium Defunctorum Ad Vesperas
A motet out of the Officium Defunctorum Ad Vesperas. The text of psalm 120 is used in the Office of the Dead at Vespers and is written by Alexander Utendal for five voices (SATTB). The text of this motet is still published in the old Liber Usualis pages 1773/74. Utendal uses only the first two verses 1. and 2. of the text of this psalm.. Utendal starts this motet ‘Levavi’; ‘lifted’, with an upward quint in Soprano and Altus followed by and upward octave in Tenor I, II and Bass. The voices following one voice to another. In bars 3745 Utendal uses some fine voice imitation and uses some well placed sharps and flat especially at the beginning and at the end (bar 48). In the Secunda pars the motet starts with a descending quint in each voice following one voice to another. To underline ‘fecit coelum et terram’ Utendal uses homophony. This excellent motet contains 108 bars. The ‘Levavi oculos meos’ is a motet with imitative polyphonic and has an excellent cadence. This setting by Utendal was published in “Sacrarum cantionum, /quas vulgo motetas/ vocant, antea nunquam in lucem/ editarum, sed nunc recens ad modum tam/ instrumentis, musicis quam vivae melodiae/ Quinque vocibus attemperatarum./ Liber Primus”, (1571) Theodorus Gerlach, Nuremberg. There are unchecked sources known from a publication of this motet earlier in 1568.
Author:Wim Goossens
Text of this motet:
Levavi oculos meos in montes
Unde veniet auxilium mihi.
Auxilium meum a Domino
Qui fecit caelum et terram.

I have lifted up my eyes to the mountains,
from where help shall come to me.
My help is from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
Contributor:Wim Goossens
Adesto dolori meo
Period:High Renaissance
Composed in:1573c
Musical form:motet à 6 vocibus
Text/libretto:Latin out Responsorium de Officium Defunctorum
Label(s):Eufoda 1164
SPR 3326-2
PAS 937
FCE 209/504
A motet from the Responsorium de Officium Defunctorum composed for six voices (SSTTTB). The Adesto dolori meo is an old Responsorium. There are about 138 Responsoria de Officium Defunctorum known and used during centuries in the Office of the Dead. They are all well ordered and this is number 3. Utendal uses from the beginning a very sophisticated contrapuntal polyphonic style, which starts in the Bassus with dramatic repeated chromatic lines in all voices in the first 6 bars, which will be followed by imposing descending chromatic lines. To make differences and to bring accent and contrast in following the text from the wording "Et cantatio mea; and my singing.” (bars 33–39 and 4955), Utendal changes the pitch (into 3/2). By the wording “in plorationem; into weeping”, (bars 4049 and 5565) changes the pitch again into ( C ). Furthermore Utendal uses from bar 33, homophonic style and mix up the six voices in several groups of four voices, which will be continued up to bar 65 which ends in full D. The alternating pitch underlines the wording. This setting by Utendal was published in Sacrae Cantiones, vulgo Motecta appellatae sex, et plurum Vocum, Liber Secundus (1573), Berg, Nuremberg.
Author:Wim Goossens
Text of this Responsorium:
Adesto dolori meo, O Deus, nimium fatigor,
et cecidit in luctum Cythara mea,
et cantatio mea in plorationem.

I am consumed with my grief, O God,
I am too much tormented;
My harp has fallen into mourning,
My singing into weeping.
Contributor:Wim Goossens
Scio, quod Redemptor meus vivit
Period:High Renaissance
Composed in:1573c
Musical form:motet à 6 vocibus
Text/libretto:Latin out of Officium Defunctorum ad Matutinum
Label(s):ARM 1165
The text from this Responsorium is taken out of sentences of Lectio VIII (Pelli meae) out of the Officium Defunctorum Ad Matutinum, and is written by Utendal for six voices (SATTTB). But the Scio enim quod Redemptor is even an old Responsorium. And in this case Utendal uses as well the two belonging Versicles (177 and 197) ‘Quem visurus’ and ‘Reposita’ to this Respond. 469 Versicles de Officium Defunctorum have been found which have been used in the Office of the Dead all over Europe. The basic-text of this Respond and two Versicles comes out of JOB 19, 24-27. There are about 138 Responsoria de Officium Defunctorum, Responds from Office of the Dead known and used during centuries in the Office of the Dead. They are all well ordered, this is number 85. Utendal did not use a part of the text of the published Respond ‘et rursum circumdabor pelle mea” and “enim” at the beginning, that last not relevant. But why the lacking of the first text mentioned. Perhaps this part of the text is destroyed in the original score. I see other wording in the bars 35 up to 42 - and that’s the place - which are placed between brackets thus added by the editor (Thomas Engel). Further more Utendal uses in this case the Respond-version with ‘Salvatorem meum’ at the end, which derivation is found in the Carthusian Priory of Val-Ste-Aldegonde near St. Omer. This Respond is written by Utendal in anguished and melancholy imitative polyphonic style. Utendal uses in all voices low voice tuning. Utendal uses some fine flats. The splendid sad feeling that has been laid from the beginning in this motet is striking. The motet contains 93 bars. The setting by Utendal was published in Sacrae Cantiones, vulgo Motecta appellatae sex, et plurum Vocum, Liber Secundus (1573), Berg, Nuremberg. Note: In the text below the omitted or not used words by Utendal have been placed between brackets.
Author:Wim Goossens
Scio (enim) quod Redemptor meus vivit, et in novissimo die de terra surrecturus sum; (et rursum circumdabor pelle mea), et in carne mea videbo Deum Salvatorem meum. V. Quem visurus sum ego ipse et non alius, et oculi mei conspecturi sunt. Et in carne mea videbo. V. Reposita est hec spes mea in sinu meo.

(For) I know that my Redeemer liveth; and in the last day I shall rise out of the earth. (And I shall be clothed again with my skin), and in my flesh I shall see my God my Saviour. V. Whom I myself shall see, and not another, and my eyes shall behold: and in my flesh I shall see my God. V. This my hope is laid up in my bosom.
Contributor:Wim Goossens