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Leonard Lechner
1553 - 1606
Austria
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L. Lechner
Leonard Lechner (1553 - 09/09/1606), an Austrian composer of the school of Orlando di Lasso; he died in Stuttgart, Germany. The exact origin is unknown, but it is certain he came out of the Etschtal region. He was a pupil of the famous Orlando di Lasso (1532-1594) and chorister in the Bavarian chapel at Munich under di Lasso. In 1570 Lechner held a post as schoolmaster in Nuremberg. But during his live he remained an admirer of di Lasso and in 1579 he introduced some degree of order into the chaos of the frequent republications of earlier works of di Lasso, by bringing out, evidently in cooperation with the composer himself, a revised and enlarged edition of di Lasso’s two books of motets of 1568. In 1584/1583 probably on recommendation of Orlando di Lasso he was appointed ‘Kapellmeister’ at Hechingen to count Friedrich von Hohenzollern (1553-1618), but suddenly gave up this post in 1585, uncertain why? He really had to fled to Tübingen! In 1587 Lechner was Tenor-singer and some later ‘Kapellmeister’ at Stuttgart to the court of Würtemberg. Later on in 1594 he became “Hofkapellmeister” at Stuttgart to the court of Würtemberg, where he stayed until his dead. Contrary to Orlando di Lasso Lechner could be affected here very much more by the Italian Villanelli-art. Lechner’s German songs of lives and death representing Lechner’s work high-point. He published 7 books of German Lieder and five books with Motets, Masses, Magnificats and Pentinential Psalms. Further he wrote a St. John Passion. Lechner died in Stuttgart in 1606. In his motets without any doubt you see the influence of Di Lasso, the fifth Flemish/Netherlands generation.
Author:Wim Goossens
Cognoscimus, Domine
Period:High Renaissance
Composed in:1575c
Musical form:Motet à 4 vocibus aequales
Text/libretto:Latin from a Responsorium de Officium Defunctorum
This Cognoscimus Domine is an old Responsorium. 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 10. The second part, pars secundo of this motet is “Vita nostra” the Versicle following this Respond. The Versicle “Vita nostra” nr. 240 is used in the Office of the dead. This motet is written for four equal parts (TTTB ) and it has a very dark colour due to the chosen low voices. Lechner added the wording ‘sis ergo porpitius, O Domine’ in the secunda pars at the beginning of the repetition of the Respond. This motet is written in imitative polyphonic style. This motet was originally published by Gerlach, Johann Bergs Erben, in Nuremberg in 1575, Motectae sacrae, quatuor, quinque et sex vocum, ita compositae, ut non solum viva voce commodissime cantari, sed etiam ad omnis generis instrumenta optime adhibere possint [...] addita est in fine motecta octo vocum, et duos choros, eodem autore. This motet contains 130 bars.
Author:Wim Goossens
Text:
Cognoscimus domine quia peccavimus veniam petimus quam non meremur manum tuam porrige lapsis qui latroni confitenti paradisi januas aperuisti.
V. Vita nostra in dolore suspirat et in opera non emendta; si expectas, non corrigimus, et si vindicas, non duramus.
R. sis ergo propitius, O Domine, qui latroni confitenti paradisi januas aperuisti.
Contributor:Wim Goossens
Libera me, Domine
Period:High Renaissance
Composed in:1575c
Musical form:motet à 5 vocibus aequales
Text/libretto:Latin from the Exsequiarum Ordo de Officium Defunctorum
The Libera me Domine de morte is a motet from the Exsequiarum Ordo more specific a Responsorium sung during the final blessing of the coffin on its catafalque. This Libera me (there are more (4) plain-chant variations known) is an old Responsorium out of the In Exsequis and sung in the part Absolutio super tulum and is published in the old Liber Usualis page 1767. The Libera me, Domine, de morte aeterna is written in a imitative polyphonic counterpoint for five equal voices (TTTBB). In this work Lechner uses an old version of the Respond and uses some extra flats, in not using the whole text of this Respond. This motet was originally published by Gerlach, Johann Bergs Erben, in Nuremberg in 1575, Motectae sacrae, quatuor, quinque et sex vocum, ita compositae, ut non solum viva voce commodissime cantari, sed etiam ad omnis generis instrumenta optime adhibere possint [...] addita est in fine motecta octo vocum, et duos choros, eodem autore. The motet contains 48 bars.
Author:Wim Goossens
Text:
Libera me, Domine, de morte aeternain die illa tremendaquando coeli movendi sunt et terra.

Translation:
Deliver me, O Lord, from eternal death on that awful day when the heavens and earth shall be shaken.
Contributor:Wim Goossens
Si bona suscepimus
Period:High Renaissance
Composed in:1581c
Musical form:Motet à 6 vocibus
Text/libretto:Latin from a Responsorium de Officium Defunctorum
Duration:4'37''
Label(s):HMC 901401
This motet ‘Si bona suscepimus’ is an old Responsorium. 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 87. One of the two corresponding Versicle from the Office of the Dead “ Nudus egressus” number 156 is even used by Lechner like Lassus (1532-1594) did. The use of Responds and Versicles of The Office of the Dead vary per region all over Europe. This long Respond with Versicle is written by Lechner for 6 voices (SSATTB). In general the text is coming out of the Book Job. The choice of texts and the order in which they occur in the sources all around Europe vary according to local uses. This motet by Lechner starts with imitative polyphony with the voices entering the ones after the others: Altus, Tenor I, Soprano I, Tenor I, Bassus and Soprano II. The Soprano II only quoting and singing in this motet ‘Fiat voluntas tuas’; Your desire will be done. Lechner uses flats and sharps to express his feelings. But nevertheless Venetian style and homophonic phrases comes in his writing. The Versicle starts in bar 68 with Altus I and the voices following after the others and ends in bar 105. Due to normal practice the Respond-text will come back from bar 105 with Dominus! This should mean that this motet is written for use in the services. Lechner uses polyphonic imitative but not in a rich style, like his teacher Lassus. This motet is published in Sacrarum cantionum, quinque et sex vocum, liber secundus. Nuremberg: Katharina Gerlach, Johann Bergs Erben, 1581. This motet contains 130 bars.
Author:Wim Goossens
Text:
Si bona suscepimus de manu domine, mala autem quare non sustineamu? Dominus dedit dominus abstulit sicut domino placuit ita factum est. Sit nomen domini benedictum.
V. Nudus egressus sum de utero matris meae, nudus revertar illuc.
R. Dominus dedit dominus abstulit sicut domino placuit ita factum est. Sit nomen domini benedictum.

Translation:
If we have received good things at the hand of God, why should we not endure evil?
The Lord has given, and the Lord has taken away: as it has pleased the Lord, so is it done: blessed be the name of the Lord.
V. Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither.
R. The Lord has given, and the Lord has taken away: as it has pleased the Lord, so is it done: blessed be the name of the Lord.
Contributor:Wim Goossens
Domine, ne in furore (I)
Period:High Renaissance
Composed in:1587c
Musical form:Motet à 6 vocibus
Text/libretto:Latin from de Officium Defunctorum
The Domine, ne in furrore is a motet from the de Officium Defunctorum composed by Utendal for six voices (SSATTB). This Domine, ne in furore is the text of Psalm 6. But seen the Liber Usualis this text is used in de Officium Defunctorum ad Matutinum, Office of the Dead at matins and published at page 1783. It is without doubt Lechner composed this variation with the Office of the Dead in mind because he omitted the ‘Gloria patri et filio’ which is of course not sung in the Office of the dead. The choice of texts and the order in which they occur in the sources all around Europe vary according to local uses. Lechner wrote two works on a text ‘Domine, ne in furore’ but the first composed fits with the text of Psalm 6 published in the Liber usualis. This motet is written in a more homophonic polyphonic style, with different alternating voice groups following the verses and part of the text of the verses. The used low voices (ATTB or TTB, dark colouring) in the score reflects the mood of the text and the more occasions of mourning. To the contrary Lechner uses the high voices (SST, SSAT) and of course the full great parts (SSATTB) to give more accent at the text sung. There is a lot of contrast-colouring in this work. At the end of the Renaissance the text-handling is very important to the composers. This motet is published in Septem psalmi poenitentiales, sex vocibus compositi [...] additis aliis quibusdam piis cantionibus sex et plurium vocum, Nuremberg: Katharina Gerlach, 1587.
Author:Wim Goossens
Text:
Domine ne in furore tuo arguas me: neque in ira tua corripias me.
Miserere mei Domine quoniam infirmus sum: sana me Domine quoniam conturbata sunt ossa mea.
Et anima mea turbata est valde: et tu Domine usquequo?
Convertere Domine eripe animam meam: salvum me fac propter misericordiam tuam.
Quoniam non est in morte qui memor sit tui: in inferno autem quis confitebitur tibi?
Laboravi in gemitu meo, lavabo per singulas noctes lectum meum: in lacrimis meis stratum meum rigabo.
Turbatus est a furore oculus meus: inveteravi inter omnes inimicos meos.
Discedite a me omnes qui operamini iniquitatem: quoniam exaudivit Dominus vocem fletus mei.
Exaudivit Dominus deprecationem meam Dominus orationem meam suscepit
Erubescant et conturbentur vehementer omnes inimici mei: convertantur et erubescant valde velociter.

Translation:
O Lord, rebuke me not in thy indignation, nor chastise me in thy wrath.
Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am weak: heal me, O Lord, for my bones are troubled.
And my soul is troubled exceedingly: but thou, O Lord, how long?
Turn to me, O Lord, and deliver my soul: O save me for thy mercy's sake.
For there is no one in death, that is mindful of thee: and who shall confess to thee in hell?
I have laboured in my groanings, every night I will wash my bed: I will water my couch with my tears.
My eye is troubled through indignation: I have grown old amongst all my enemies.
Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity: for the Lord hath heard the voice of my weeping.
The Lord hath heard my supplication: the Lord hath received my prayer.
Let all my enemies be ashamed, and be very much troubled: let them be turned back, and be ashamed very speedily.
Contributor:Wim Goossens
De profundis, clamavi
Period:High Renaissance
Composed in:1587c
Musical form:Motet à 6 vocibus
Text/libretto:Latin from de Officium Defunctorum
The De profundis clamavi is a motet from the de Officium Defunctorum composed for six voices (SSATTB). This De profundis clamavi is the text of Psalm 129. But on three places in the Liber Usualis this text is used in de Officium Defunctorum, Office of the Dead. First in the Exsequarium ordo, Burial service bearing the corpse to the church, page 1763, second in Ad Vesperas, Vespers page 1774 and third in Ad Laudes, the Lauds page 1805. It is without doubt Lechner composed this variation with the Office of the Dead in mind because he omitted the ‘Gloria patri et filio’ which is of course not sung in the Office of the dead. The choice of texts and the order in which they occur in the sources all around Europe vary according to local uses! The more often in the Spanish region this text is used in the Office of the Dead see Pedro de Cristo (c.1550-1618) and Vivanco (c.1550-1622). But Pierre de Manchicourt (c.1510-1562) used the same text, his Spanish colleagues did. Of course a lot of composers in that time composed on the plainchant De profundis: I mention Mouton (1558), Clement (1559), Ducis (1542), Josquin (1520, 1521, 1539), Willaert (1550), Lassus (1532-1594), but nearly all of them used the Gloria Patri et filio. Thus that works were not used in the Office of the Dead. This motet is written in imitative polyphonic counterpoint, with homophonic elements to underline the text. The total motet contains 94 bars. Of course Lechner uses flats and sharps to underline his feelings and uses some dissonant. This motet is published in Septem psalmi poenitentiales, sex vocibus compositi [...] additis aliis quibusdam piis cantionibus sex et plurium vocum, Nuremberg: Katharina Gerlach, 1587.
Author:Wim Goossens
Text:
De Profundis Clamavi ad te, Domine; Domine exaudi vocem meam.
Fiant aures tuae intendentes in vocem depractionis meae.
Si iniquitates observaveris, Domine; Domine quis sustenebit?
Quia apud te propitiatio est; et propter legem tuam sustinui te Domine.
Sustinuit anima mea in verbo ejus; speravit anima mea in Domino.
A custodio maturina usque ad noctem, speret Israel in Domino;
quia apud Dominum misericordia et copiosa apud eum redemptio.
Et ipse redimet Israel ex omnibus iniquitatibus ejus.

Translation:
Out of the depths I have cried to you, Lord; Lord, hear my voice.
Let your ears attend to the voice of my calling.
If you, Lord, shall mark our iniquities; Lord who shall abide it?
For there is a mercy with you; and by reason of your law I have waited for you Lord.
My soul has relied on His word; my soul has hoped in the Lord.
From the morning watch even until night, let Israel hope in the Lord;
for with the Lord there is mercy and with him copious redemption.
And He shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.
Contributor:Wim Goossens