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Francisco de la Torre
c.1460 - 1504
Spain
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F. de la Torre
Francisco de la Torre (c.1460-1504), a Spanish composer. De la Torre, Maestro di Capilla, chapel-master to Ferdinand and Isabella I at the end of the 15th century in Castile. In 1469 Princess Isabella I, Queen of Castile married Ferdinand of Aragón, known also as Ferdinand II of Aragon, The Catholic monarchs and on the death of her brother, Henry IV, Isabella and Ferdinand jointly succeeded (1474) to the throne of Castile and León. As Ferdinand II he was also King of Sicily (1468-1516) and of Aragón (1479-1516) and as Ferdinand III, King of Naples (1504-1516). Unfortunately less is known about the live of Francisco de la Torre. De la Torre was member of the Aragonese Court Chapel under Francisco de Peñalosa (c.1470-1528).
Author:Wim Goossens
Ne recorderis peccata mea, Domine
Period:Early Renaissance
Musical form:motet a 4 vocibus
Text/libretto:Latin from a Responsorium de Officium Defunctorum
A motet from the Responsorium de Officium Defunctorum Ad Matutinum. A Responsory from Matins of the Dead written by De la Torre for four voices (ATTB). This sixth Responsorium Ne recorderis in Matins of the Dead is still published in the old Liber Usualis page 1792 and will be sung after Lectio sexta, Lesson VI. This Responsory is often used in burial processions.
De la Torre wrote in the employ of Ferdinand and Isabella I of Castile polyphonic settings of responsories. This Responsory seems to be attributed to De Morales. This setting by de la Torre is among others published in Seville, Biblioteca Capitular y Columbina, Ms.82-4-35. The Ne recorderis Responsory is set in alternation form that means small segments are set in polyphonic style and the rest of the wording of the Responsory is in the usual plainchant at that time and these sequence of alternation will be repeated several times. In this Responsory only the words Ne recorderis, Dum veneris, Dirige and Requiem aeternam – see the text - are set by De la Torre in polyphony and all the others are the normal plainchant.
After each verse Dum veneris will be repeated/alternated, which is normal in this Responsorium and in accordance of the published plainchant. Such alternation was not unusual in the known Responsories, see all the publications in the old Liber Usualis and see for instance the old magnificent fifteenth-century manuscript called the Burnet Psalter! But in Spain before 1550 it was in certain regions due to liturgical practices normal that only small segments of Responsories were set polyphonically. But see on the other hand and reverse Philippe Rogier in his splendid total polyphonic Responsories settings.
Author:Wim Goossens
Text of this Responsorium:

Ne recorderis peccata mea, Domine,
Dum veneris judicare saeculum per ignem.
Dirige, Domine Deus meus, in conspectu tuo viam meam.
Dum veneris …
Requiem Aeternam dona eis Domine: et lux perpetua luceat eis.
Dum veneris ….

Translation:
Remember not, O Lord my sins.Whilst thou shalt come to judge the world by fire.Direct, O Lord, my God my way in thy sight. Whilst thou shalt come to judge the world by fire.Eternal rest give unto them, O Lord: and let perpetual light shine unto them. Whilst thou shalt come to judge the world by fire.
Contributor:Wim Goossens
Paucitas dierum
Period:Early Renaissance
Musical form:Motet à 5 vocibus
Text/libretto:Latin from a Responsorium de Officium Defunctorum
Duration:4’10”
Label(s):CD TZ VI
This ‘Paucitas dierum’ is an old Responsorium, Responsory and this is an interesting one. 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 67. The second part from bar 54 of this responsorium is “Manus tuae” the Versicle following and belonging to this Respond. The Versicle “Manus tuae” number 59 is used in the Office of the Dead. It is known the use of Responds and Versicles of The Office of the Dead vary per region all over Europe. In general the text of this total Responsorium is coming out of the Book Job.
Since the ninth century this Respond “Paucitas dierum” out of the Ambrosian Office of the dead is sung after Reading V whereby a part of the reading is repeated in this respond and even knownand found in the Psalterium per decadas (biblioteca Vaticana). The present text of this respond is in according with the old sources in St. Benoit-sur-Loire. But it is quite uncertain whether this text comes out the North-Italian or Ambrosian sources.
Referring to Knud Ottosen book “Responsories and Versicles of the Latin office of the Dead” , it’s interesting to see Francisco de la Torre did indeed use the text in use outside Italy! De la Torre uses in the middle of the first sentence “dimitte me domine sine” instead of “relaxa ergo mihi Domine.” The same use of the text we saw in the settings of Paucitas dierum by Giovanni da Palestrina (1525-1594). This motet is written by de la Torre for five voices (CATTB). Each sentence of this Respond starts with a five part acclamation followed by the rest of the plainchant in alternatim uno sono. This Respond is closed by the acclamations Kyrie, Christe, Kyrie, a sign it is used in the Exquiis ordo. So if we consider this motet the parts “Paucitas”; Antequam Vadam”; “Manus”; “Antequam Vadam” and the two Kyrië are set by de la Torre for five voices and that’s very impressive.
This motet was found in Archivo de la Catedral de De Toledo, Codice 21.
Author:Wim Goossens
Text of the Responsorium:
R. Paucitas dierum meorum finitur: dimitte me, domine sine plangam paululum dolorem meum. Antequam vadam ad terram tenebrosam et opertam mortis caligine.
V. Manus tuae Domine fecerunt me, et plasmaverunt me totum in circuitu: et sic repente praecipitas me?
R. Antequam vadam ad terram tenebrosam et opertam mortis caligine.
A. Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison, Kyrie eleison.

Translation:
R. Are not my days few? cease then, And let me alone, that I may take comfort a little.
Before I go - and I shall not return - to the land of darkness and of the shadow of the death.
V. Thy hands, O Lord, have made me, and fashioned me together round about ; and yet dost thou forthwith destroy me?
R. Before I go--and I shall not return-- to the land of darkness and of the shadow of the death.
A. Lord, have mercy on us, Christ, have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy on us.
Contributor:Wim Goossens
Libera me Domine de morte
Period:Early Renaissance
Musical form:Motet a 4 vocibus inaequales
Text/libretto:Latin from the Exsequiarum Ordo de Officium Defunctorum
Duration:8'15
Label(s):CD TZ VI
The ”Libera me Domine de morte” is in general a plainchant from the Exsequiarum Ordo more specific a Responsorium sung during the final blessing of the coffin on its catafalque. Indeed this Respond is on the other hand sung at the beginning of the Absolutio pro defunctis, so after the Missa pro Defunctis, see the Liber Usualis page 1767 and is sung on the other hand in the Exsequiarum ordo - also before the Mass –. The whole Exsequarium ordo is published in the old Liber Usualis pages 1763 – 1771. The Libera Domine de Morte aeterna is a well known Respond. This Libera me (there are more (4) plain-chant variations known) is an old Responsorium out of the In Exsequiis part. But following the text De la Torrre uses some variations in that early days on the later - in 1570 - confirmed Roman text version page 1767/68 of the old Liber Usualis. This very large motet Libera me, Domine, de morte aeterna – in exsequiis – by De la Torre is written with some ornamented homophonic phrases for four voices (CATB) alternated with the prescribed plainchant. This Libera me Domine de morte by the La Torre is set in an alternatim way as stated below. Settings for CATB are the following beginning parts of sentences: Libera me Domine, Quando coeli, Dum veneris, Dies illa, Dies irae, Quando coeli, Tremens factus sum ego et timeo, Dum veneris, Requiem aeternam dona eis Domine, Dum veneris, Libera me Domine, Quando coeli, Dum veneris, Kyrie eleison and the last Kyrie eleison. The other sentences are plainchant. This Respond is closed by the acclamations Kyrie, Christe, Kyrie, as a sign it is used in the Exquiis ordo the absolutio super tumulum. This motet was found in Archivo de la Catedral de De Toledo, Codice 21.
Author:Wim Goossens
Text Responsorium:
R. Libera me, Domine, de morte aeterna in die illa tremenda.
Quando coeli movendi sunt et terra, dum veneris judicare saeculum per ignem.
V. Dies irae, dies illa, calamitatis et miseriae, dies magna et amara valde.
Quando coeli movendi sunt et terra.
V. Tremens factus sum ego, et timeo, dum discussio venerit, atque ventura ira.
Dum veneris judicare saeculum per ignem.
V. Requiem aeternam, dona eis Domine: et lux perpetua luceat eis.
Dum veneris judicare saeculum per ignem.
R. Libera me, Domine, de morte aeterna in die illa tremenda.
R. Quando coeli movendi sunt et terra.
Dum veneris judicare saeculum per ignem.
Pr. Kyrië eleison, Christe eleison, Kyrië eleison.

Translation:
R. Deliver me, O Lord, from eternal death, on that fearful day,
when the heavens and the earth are moved,
when you will come to judge the world through fire.
V. That day, the day of wrath, calamity, and misery, that terrible
and exceedingly bitter day.
When the heavens and the earth are moved,
V. I am made to tremble, and I fear, when the desolation shall come,
and also the coming wrath.
When you will come to judge the world through fire.
V. Eternal rest give unto them, O Lord
And let perpetual light shine upon them
When you will come to judge the world through fire.
R. Deliver me, O Lord, from eternal death, on that fearful day,
when the heavens and the earth are moved,
when you will come to judge the world through fire
Pr. Lord, have mercy on us, Christ, have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy on us.
Contributor:Wim Goossens