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Jacobus Gallus
1550 - 1591
Slovenia / Czech Republic
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J. Gallus
Jacobus Gallus, Jacob Petelin, Jacob Handl, Händl, Hähnel was from Slovenia, probably born in Reifnitz/Ribnica in the duchy of Carniola. Gallus most likely was educated at the Cistercian monastery at Stična (Sittich) in Carniola. He left Carniola sometime between 1564 and 1566, traveling first to Austria, and later to Bohemia, Moravia, and Silesia. For some time in between1564-1568 he lived at the Benedictine Melk Abbey in Lower Austria. Gallus was a member of the Viennese court chapel in 1574 (Maximillian II (1527-1576)), stayed for a while in Zahrdovice and was choirmaster/ Choro praefectus (Kapellmeister) to the bishop of Olmütz, Moravia between 1579 and 1585. From 1585 to his death he worked in Prague as organist and a Kantor - Regens chori - to the Church of St. John on the Balustrade (Cz. Sv. Jan na Brzehu/ Zábradlí). Not the most important church in Prague. Unfortunately this church doesn’t exist anymore.
Nevertheless Gallus had important contacts and some friendships with poets and academics in and around Prague among others Jakob Chimarrhaeus – court chaplain and court Kantor - Jan Sequenides Cernovicky, Jan Plezenus, Jan Turnovsky and the humanists of the Societies of St. Michael and St. Henry in Prague!. While in Prague Gallus probably came into contact with emperor Rudolf II (1552-1612) as well, which reigned in Prague from1583-1612. But Gallus music demonstrates other influences including styles found in the Netherlands, Italy and conservative as well as progressive musical tendencies. He mixed the polyphonic style of the South-Netherlandish Generation with the style of the famous Venetian School in fact founded by the Netherlanders. Gallus often used the famous polychoral - coro spezzato- technique/style. As a master of counterpoint, the music by Gallus was occasionally criticized for being too complex. The settings of his music were predominantly sacred texts including twenty masses. He was a prolific composer. From the 500 works which Gallus composed are about 374 reassembled in his Opus Musicum I up to VI (1586). The huge number of motets are arranged according to the church-year the liturgical year and can be used at any time. But seen the scores it’s very uncertain in what way Gallus was thinking about the use of those very interesting motets!
His secular output, about 100 short pieces, was published in the collections Harmoniae , Morales (Prague Liber I 1589, Liber II & Liber III 1590) and Moralia (Nuremberg 1596). Herein Gallus uses poetry out of the Latin classics like Lilus, Vitalis, Asmenius, Virgil, Ovid but too texts by Czech authors out of the Carmina proverbialia (1576) and fragments out of the Proverbia dicteria (1575).
He published four volumes with eight-part, seven-part, six-part, five-part and four-part masses in selectiones quaedam missae in MDLXXX also in 1580. One of the most beautiful Mass set by Gallus is the eight-part Missa ad imitationem Pater noster.
His music, sui generis, was not original having borrowed – not unusual - a great many melodic themes; Gallus’ music was also heavily influenced by the Netherlanders Philippe de Monte (1521-1603), Orlandus Lassus (1532-1594) and Adriaen Willaert (c.1488-1562). The techniques Gallus used to arrange the material which he used, however, were quite original. Nevertheless Gallus’ modernity is expressed through a varied use of counterpoint and an equally impressive use of harmonic and elegant rhythmic elements. This distinguished composer has our special attention because Gallus wrote very often sacred music for voces ad aequales, equal voices.
Author:Wim Goossens
Peccantem me Quotidie
Period:High Renaissance
Composed in:1586
Musical form:Motet à 5 vocibus
Text/libretto:Latin from Responsorium de Officium Defunctorum
The plainchant Peccantem me Quotidie is an old Responsorium/Respond from Matins of the Dead and is published in the Liber Usualis (ed. 1936 page 1797) after Lectio VII/Lesson VII. The plainchant Peccantem me quotidie is an old Respond. The use of the text vary per region. There are about 138 Responsoria known used during centuries in the Office of the Dead. It’s interesting here Gallus uses as a secunda pars the belonging Versicle to this Respond “Deus in nomine tuo”. As normal Gallus repeated even the text in the middle of this Respond “Quia in inferno” which is in accordance with liturgical practices in those days.
This motet Peccantem me Quotidie is written by Jacobus Gallus for five voces CATTB in a fluent rich counterpoint style. Cantus starts followed by Tenor II, Altus, Tenor I and Bassus.
In all parts Gallus uses different rhythmical figures which is a home mark in de compositions from Gallus. In this composition we see - as in all his compositions - an equally impressive use of harmonic and elegant rhythmic elements. We mention for instance the phrase starting with “Miserere mei” ( bar 30-44) and further an interesting major word-painting in the Secunda pars in “Libera me” (bar 82-85) with elegant rhythmic elements. As from bar 95 you will see the same rhythmic in the “Miserere mei” phrase as mentioned before and the closing “et salva me” is the same too. To underline in musically sense the words “et salva me” (Bar 44-54 and 109-119) Gallus sets in the prima and the secunda pars in Altus minim notes in a descending line a-g-f-e-#c. All other parts sing quarter notes. This splendid setting ends in both movements in full e-Phrygian.
This motet consists out of 130 bars and is published in Tomvs Primus. Mvsici Operis, Harmoniarvm Qvatvor, Qvinqve, Sex, Octo Et Plvrivm Vocvm : Qvae Ex Sancto Catholicae Ecclesiae Vsv Ita Svnt Dispositae, vt omni tempore inseruire queant. Ad Dei Opt: Max: laudem, et Ecclesiae sanctae decus/ Incipit pars Hiemalis/ Avthore Iacobo Hándl. - Pragae: Typis Georgii Nigrinianis, Anno M.D.LXXXVI, 1586.
Author:Wim Goossens
Text:
R.Peccantem me quotidie,et non me penitentem,
Timor mortis conturbat me.
Quia in inferno nulla est redemptio.
Miserere mei, Deus, et salva me.
V.Deus in nomine tuo, salvum me fac,
Et in virtute tua libera me.
*R.Quia in inferno nulla est redemptio.
Miserere mei, Deus, et salva me.

Translation:
R. Every day I sin and I am impenitent.
The fear of death troubles me:
For in hell there is no redemption.
Have mercy upon me, O God, and save me.
V.O God, in your name save me,
and by your strength set free me.
*R. For in hell there is no redemption.
Have mercy upon me, O God, and save me.
Contributor:Wim Goossens
Versa est in luctum
Period:High Renaissance
Composed in:1586
Musical form:Motet à 5 vocibus
Text/libretto:Latin Officium Defunctorum
Duration:1'35
Versa est in Luctum is a plainchant from the Responsorium de Officium Defunctorum, Respond from Matins of the Dead and set as a motet by Jacobus Gallus, for five voices (CATTB). The Versa est in luctum is an old Responsorium and even used and set by for instance Francisco 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), Juan Miquel Marqués (1600-1699) and José de Torres y Martinez Bravo (1665-1738). Those settings from “Versa est in luctum” have to be considered as an Iberian inheritance. Although out of the Iberian region we saw Versa est in luctum settings by the Italian Alexandro Grandi (1586-1630), Anselmo di Facio (1590-1610), Ludovica Viadana (1575-1620), Gerarde Dyricke (c.1540-1580) and even by more modern composers. 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 no. 95. To this Respond belongs Versicle no. 43 “Cutis mea”. But this Versicle is not used by Gallus. The text is from the book of Job and has become in certain European regions a Respond in the Office of the Dead. This variation of the Respond is found with some introductions in two Offices of the Dead in Lyon and in Otto of Riedenburg’s Pontifical. And from there it is spread into Europe. The text Versa est in luctum was not a direct part of the traditional liturgy but much more an extra-liturgical motet during the Obsequies of very important dignitaries of State or Church.
We think Jacobus Gallus must have found special inspiration in the text of this motet, especially for funeral purposes. This text of this motet used by Gallus is known and are verses from the book Job XXX:XXXI, and VII:XVI.
We consider this Versa est in luctum due to an intense expression of deep mourning but with a glimpse of hope at the end as a motet indeed used for funeral purposes in some regions. Gallus uses imitative counterpoint. The text and music of this motet are penitential in feeling. Gallus sets this very short motet only consisting out of 33 bars. Gallus starts in all parts with an impressive ascending minor third d--f (figure d-d-f-f-e/b-d) in Cantus, Tenor I and Tenor II ending with an e/b-d and in the Altus and Bassus the same equivalent figure (a-a-c-c-b/b-a). From the beginning Gallus creates a very austere sphere! Altus starts followed by Cantus, Tenor II, Bassus and Tenor I. Gallus uses naturals, flats and sharps. With ‘Parce mihi’ starts a new musical sentence with a descending prime in four voices (d-#c-d or f-d-f). A very interesting movement is the last sentence ‘nihil enim sunt dies mei’. In that last movement Gallus uses in all parts full descending lines with an impressive use of the e/b! This splendid motet ends in g-Phrygian. This motet is published in Tomvs Primus. Mvsici Operis, Harmoniarvm Qvatvor, Qvinqve, Sex, Octo Et Plvrivm Vocvm : Qvae Ex Sancto Catholicae Ecclesiae Vsv Ita Svnt Dispositae, vt omni tempore inseruire queant. Ad Dei Opt: Max: laudem, et Ecclesiae sanctae decus/ Incipit pars Hiemalis/ Avthore Iacobo Hándl. - Pragae: Typis Georgii Nigrinianis, Anno M.D.LXXXVI, 1586.
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.

Translation:
R. My harp is tuned for lamentation and my organ into the voice of those who weep.
Spare me, [my] Lord, since my days are nothing.
Contributor:Wim Goossens
Domine, quando veneris
Period:High Renaissance
Composed in:1586
Musical form:Motet à 6 vocibus inaequalibus
Text/libretto:Latin from a Responsorium de Officium Defunctorum
Domine, quando veneris is a plainchant from the Responsorium de Officium Defunctorum Ad Matutinum, Office of the Dead ad Matins and the text is set by Jacobus Gallus for six voices (CCATTB). The Domine, quando veneris is an old Responsorium, Respond and still published in the old Liber Usualis (edition 1936) page 1787 and is sung after Lectio III in the Office of the Dead. Gallus uses the belonging Versicle “Commissa mea, Domine pavesco” and Gallus even added an important short sentence to it. That sentence is placed by us between brackets in the text. Here we see too the use of this Versicle which we already mentioned and discussed with the Respond “Peccantem me quotidie”. This Versicle no. 34 is even used in four Responds in the Office of the Dead: Respond no. 7 Antequam nascerer; Repond no. 24 Domine quando veneris; Respond no. 38 Libera me Domine de Morte aeterna and the last one Respond no. 68 Peccantem me quotidie. For good order Gallus omitted the last sentence of this Respond Domine quando veneris the “Requiem aeternam dona eis Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis”. This Respond is sung at the end of the Primo Nocturno out of the Office of the Dead.
This motet (in total 82 bars) consists out of the Respond with the belonging Versicle and is written by Gallus for six voices (CCATTB) in polyphonic imitative style. The Cantus I part is not higher than e2. Gallus uses low texture. As from bar 9 Gallus created in this motet at some places the imitation of the ‘coro spezatto’ style consisted out of four different parts in alternating each other. The formation of the two choirs differs. Gallus preferred the Venetian polychoral style even in an imitative way!
This motet Domine quando veneris starts in imitative counterpoint with Cantus I, followed by Tenor I, Altus, Cantus II, Tenor II and Bassus. The imitation of the ‘coro spezatto’ technique starts from bar 9 “ubi me abscondam` with a melting of all voices in `a vultu irae tuae`. Gallus accentuated the words “in vita mea” (bar 24-28) like word-painting, with short rhythmic figures interweaved with the polychoral imitation concluded with five voices together (bar 27). In the following bar 28 starts in this motet the Versicle ‘Commissa mea” together again with the ‘coro spezatto’ technique followed by a firm conclusion in “et ante te erubesco;” -‘and before thee I do blush!’. As we saw in each phrase Gallus sets a short conclusion which brings all voices together. With `noli condemnare` Gallus starts a following polychoral imitation ending in all six voices in couterpoint together in `sed secundum magnam, misericordiam tuam` that means ´according to thy great mercy´. As from bar 55 “misericordiam tuam, miserere mei Deus” up to the end all is set in an imitated ‘coro spezatto’ style, a real splendid watermark of Gallus. Jacobus Gallus as we know was heavily impressed and influenced by the polychoral style of the Venetian School.
Gallus was from Slovenia, and there is less Eastern European Renaissance vocal music preserved than from the West, but this piece verifies as so many other compositions by Gallus that excellent music was coming out of that part of Europe, just as it was in the contemporary areas of Northern- France, Belgium, and the Netherlands in that time united in the Duchy of Burgundy. Besides remember a lot of Netherlandish composers worked in Munich, Prague and in Austria!
This motet is published in Tomvs Primus. Mvsici Operis, Harmoniarvm Qvatvor, Qvinqve, Sex, Octo Et Plvrivm Vocvm : Qvae Ex Sancto Catholicae Ecclesiae Vsv Ita Svnt Dispositae, vt omni tempore inseruire queant. Ad Dei Opt: Max: laudem, et Ecclesiae sanctae decus/ Incipit pars Hiemalis/ Avthore Iacobo Hándl. - Pragae: Typis Georgii Nigrinianis, Anno M.D.LXXXVI, 1586. The present motet is no. 84 in this publication.
Author:Wim Goossens
Text
Domine quando veneris:
R. Domine quando veneris judicare terram,
ubi me abscondam a vultu irae tuae?
Quia peccavi nimis in vita mea.
V.Commíssa mea, Domine, pavesco, et ante te erubesco.
Dum veneris judicare,
Noli me condemnare,
[Sed secundum magnam miseridordiam tuam,
Miserere mei Deus]

Translation:
R. O Lord, when Thou shall come to judge the earth,
where shall I hide from the face of Thy wrath?
For I have sinned greatly in my life.
V.I begin to fear my transgressions,
and I blush before thee.
When thou shalt come to judge,
do not condemn me.
[O God, according to Thy great goodness,
Have mercy upon me].
Contributor:Wim Goossens
Scio enim, quod Redemptor meus vivit
Period:High Renaissance
Composed in:1586
Musical form:motet à 5 vocibus
Text/libretto:Latin out of Officium Defunctorum ad Matutinum
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 Gallus for five voices (CATTB). But the Scio enim quod Redemptor is even an old Responsorium. But in this case Jacobus Gallus didn’t use the two belonging Versicles (no. 177 and 197) ‘Quem visurus’ and ‘Reposita’ to this Respond like Alexander Utendal (c.1530-1581) did. The basic-text of this Respond is taken out of JOB 19, 25-26. 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. The Respond 85 is spread in the area in which German double series are known, for instance in Münster, Würzburg, Seebach, Lambach and others. Furthermore like Utendal did, Jacobus Gallus 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 short Respond is written by Gallus in an imitative polyphonic style. Three parts (Cantus, Tenor II & Tenor I) start with an ascending line e-f-g-a or b-c-d-e (Tenor I) where the other two parts (Bassus, Altus) start with a descending line c-b–a-g. Gallus uses low texture with a highest note in the Cantus e2, with in all other voices low voice tuning too. This motet is larded in each part with fine rhythmical elements a distinguished mark in nearly all compositions by Gallus. Jacobus Gallus has given in all voices ascending lines in “de terra surrecturus sum, shall rise out of the earth” (bars 17-22). The important last words of this motet “Salvatorum meum” are musically widely painted out by Gallus (16 bars), starting each part with an intriguing figure c-b-c-g or a-g-a-e or e-d-e-b with a descending fourth. This motet contains 54 bars and is set in e-Phrygian. In the text below the omitted or not used words by Gallus have been placed between brackets. This motet is published in Tomvs Primus. Mvsici Operis, Harmoniarvm Qvatvor, Qvinqve, Sex, Octo Et Plvrivm Vocvm : Qvae Ex Sancto Catholicae Ecclesiae Vsv Ita Svnt Dispositae, vt omni tempore inseruire queant. Ad Dei Opt: Max: laudem, et Ecclesiae sanctae decus/ Incipit pars Hiemalis/ Avthore Iacobo Hándl. - Pragae: Typis Georgii Nigrinianis, Anno M.D.LXXXVI, 1586.
The present motet is no. 97 (XCVII) in this publication.
Author:Wim Goossens
Text:
R.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.]

Translation:
R.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