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Sigismondo d'India
1580 - 1629
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S. d'India
Sigismondo d'India (c. 1582 – before 19/04/1629) was an Italian composer of the late Renaissance and early Baroque eras. He was one of the most accomplished contemporaries of Monteverdi, and wrote music in many of the same forms as the more famous composer. He was probably born in Palermo. Sigismondo d’India described himself as "nobile palermitano" in the prefaces to his works. So he considered himself as an inhabitant from Palermo. Sigismondo d’India spent his adolescence in Naples. There are records of a certain Don Carlo d'India, perhaps a relative or possibly his father. We don’t know. He could have followed a musical education in Palermo. D’India could have done so - but that’s not certain - as part of a musical scene that included among others the Netherlandish Jean (Giovanni) de Macque (c.1550-1614) who lived in Naples from 1587 and who counted amongst his pupils Carlo Gesualdo (c.1560-1613) and Giovanni Trabaci (c.1575-1647). During the first decade of the 17nd century, d'India travelled around in some of the most important courts of northern and central Italy: Mantua, Florence and Rome. In 1611 he settled in Turin as director of chamber music at the ducal court of Savoy, in the service of Carlo Emanuele I (1562-1630). In spring 1623 he left the Savoy court. Sigismondo d’India found a new Maecenas at the court of Alfonso III d'Este (1591-1644), Prince of Modena. Sigismondo worked in Rome, went back to Modena and returned probably to Rome again. He passed away in Rome. Over the area of twenty years Sigismondo published three volumes of motets, eight volumes of madrigals and two of villanelle’s and further volumes of monodies and aria’s.
Author:Wim Goossens
Circumdederunt me doloris mortis
Period:Late Renaissance
Composed in:1627
Musical form:Motet a 4 vocibus inaequalium con bc
Text/libretto:Latin from de Officium Defunctorum
This Antiphon “Circumdederunt me” is used in the Officium Defunctorum ad Vesperas – Office of the Dead at Vespers - and set by Sigismondo d’India for fourvoices (SATB con Bc) with basso continuo. In general the Circumdederunt is often especially used at the continent in the Office of the Dead by Spanish and Portuguese composers like Cristobal de Morales (c.1500-1553), Pedro Fernandez (1483-1547), Aires Fernandez (16th C.), Juan de Avila ( 16th C.), Juan Gutiérrez de Padilla (c.1590-1664), Bartolomeo Trosylho (1500-1567), Hernando Franco (1532-1585), Sebastian de Vivanco (c.1551-1622), the German Balthasar de Senarius (c.1485-1544) and even Orlando di Lasso (1532-1594) and Jacob Regnart (1540-1599) did. This Antiphon ad Vesperas or even as ad Matins is set by them all as an invitatory Antiphon for the Office of the Dead. On the other hand the interesting plainchant Circumdederunt is often used in chansons, motets, parody masses and even used in the splendid Requiem Mass by the Jean Richafort (c.1480-c.1547) a composer belonging to the third Netherlandish generation. Furthermore a “Circumdederunt me” is on the other hand the Introit out of the liturgy of Septuagint/Septuagesima and sometimes a 9th Respond used in Feria VI Parsceve I-III (Good Friday). But that text used in that plainchant differs from the wording used by the mentioned composers and in this case by Sigismondo. Here Sigismondo d’India uses the text out of the office of the Dead at Vespers more specially the part of the text out of the psalm 114 prayed or sung at the beginning of Office of the Dead at Vespers. This motet “Circumdederunt me” is written in an early baroque style, with homophonic elements in it, starting with Tenor, followed by Bassus, Soprano and Alto with a basso continuo. The atmosphere of this motet is austere the first part is more polyphonic and the second part “O Domine, libera animam meam” is more homophonic. This total motet including the parts contains 120 bars. Homophonic and polyphonic technique are her brought together. The modus is G-dorian. This motet is published and found in Liber primus motectorum quatuor vocibus. Venezia, Alessandro Vincenti, 1627.
Author:Wim Goossens
Prima Pars:
A. Circumdederunt me dolores mortis; et pericula inferni invenerunt me.
Tribulationem et dolorem inveni, et nomen Domini invocavi.
Secunda pars;
A.O Domine, libera animam meam.
Misericors Domine et Justus et Deus noster miseretur,
A ( Prima pars repeated) Et nomen Domini invocavi.

First part:
A. The anguish of death surrounds me; the pains of hell are around me.
I met with trouble and sorrow: And I called upon the name of the Lord.
Second part:
A.O Lord, deliver my soul.
Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; our God is merciful to all.
A.( First part repeated ) And I called upon the name of the Lord.
Contributor:Wim Goossens