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Jacob Regnart
1540 - 1599
France / Belgium
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J. Regnart
Jacob (Jacques) Regnart (1540 - 16/10/1599), a Franco-Flemish composer and singer, born in Douai, pupil of Jacobus Vaet (1529 - 1567).
Source:Riemann Musik Lexikon
Jacob (Jacques) Regnart (1540 - 16/10/1599), a Flemish composer growing up in a family of Flemish musicians from which Jacob was the most important of five composing brothers. He was early 1557-1568 received as a chorister of the Imperial court-chapel in Vienna and Prague and was a pupil of Jacob Vaet (1529-1567). As an adult he was in 1564 appointed as a tenor-singer at the Prague court. In 1566 he accompanied the Emperor to Augsburg. In 1568-1570 he studied in Italy and from 1570 he was teacher of the choristers at the Imperial Court of Maximilian II and in 1576 he is mentioned as the teacher of the choristers/boys of the Imperial-chapel in Vienna, Maximilian II. From 1579 to 1582 he was appointed deputy Choir-Master Vice-Kapellmeister at the court of Rudolf II but Regnart left the Imperial Court and was from 1582 deputy Choir-Master Vice-Kapellmeister and Music Director Kapellmeister at the archducal court – under Archduke Ferdinand II- at Innsbruck from 1585 to 1595/96. Meanwhile in 1580 Regnart was offered the post of Kapellmeister at Dresden vacant by the death of Antonio Scandello (1517-1580), but Regnart declined.
In 1596 he returned to Prague and was again deputy Choir-Master Vice-Kapellmeister at the court of Rudolf II where he died in October 1599. Shortly before his death, in the dedication a book of masses to the Emperor, Rudolf II, which, however, was not published till afterwards, he recommended to the care of the Emperor his wife and six children. His wife was a daughter of the famous Court Bass-singer Hans Vischer at Munich under Lassus. The oeuvre of Regnart is prolific, he wrote both sacred as secular music. He composed thirty-seven Masses, twenty-nine - written for five, six , eight up to ten voices - were published by Regnarts widow in 1602/1603. Missae sacrae 1602 and Continuato Missae sacrum 1603. She published also a book with thirty-five motets Sacrae cantiones, written for four to twelve voices.
After Regnart had been healed by a very serious illness, against all hope, he created a cycle an anthology of Marian motets Mariale for four to eight voices for the celebrations as it were sounding, in honours of the mother of God Maria. This anthology –consisting out of 23 motets- was published in 1588 or 1590. Furthermore he composed Litania Deiparae Virginis Mariae. The other sacred works of Regnart which appeared during his lifetime were a book of Sacrae aliquot cantiones for five to six voices in1575, and one other for four voices in 1577 Aliquot cantiones. Furthermore Regnart wrote about one hundred and ninety-five (195) motets and a Mathew Passion for eight voices (1583), which only survived in manuscript. And Regnart composed Lamentabatur Jacob Defunctum Charites Vaetem in 1568 in memory of his teacher Jacob Vaet (1529-1567) who passed away in Vienna.
Regnart was, however, even more widely known by his secular work, which consists out of two books of Canzone Italiane for five voices (1574-81); two books entitled Threni Amorum, German secular songs for five voices (1595); and several collections for three, four and five voices entitled Kurtzweilige teutsche Lieder nach Art der Neapolitanen oder welschen Villanellen (1576-1591). The German songs were very popular in his days. The melody of one of them - Venus du und dein Kind - SST has become, with a slight modification in the first line, the today well-known Choral tune, Auf meinen lieben Gott.
Its interesting in 1590 Regnart – but which one? - edited and published at Douai a family collection of thirty-nine Regnart Motets, for four to six voices, composed by four brothers Francis, Jacob, Paschasius and Charles Regnart. The work appropriately bears on its title-page the motto, Ecce quam bonum et quam jucundum fratres habitare in unum, Psalm.132. The full title is: Novae Cantiones Sacrae, 4, 5 et 6 vocum turn Instrumentorum cuivis generi turn vivas voci aptissimas, authoribus Francisco, Jacobo, Pascasio, Carolo Regnart, fratribus germanis.
Author:Wim Goossens
Circumdederunt me doloris mortis
Period:High Renaissance
Composed in:1564
Musical form:Motet a 5 vocibus
Text/libretto:Latin from Officium Defunctorum
This Antiphon is used in the Officium Defunctorum ad Matutinum and set by Regnart for five voices (SATTB). The Circumdederunt is often especially used by Spanish composers in the Office of the Dead like de Morales( c.1500-1553), de Vivanco (c.1550-1622), Pedro Fernandez (1483-1574), Aires Fernandez (16th C.) and even Orlando di Lasso ( 1532-1594) did. As we saw it is set by them as an invitatory Antiphon for the Office of the Dead. On the other hand the plainchant Circumdederunt is often used in chansons, motets, parody Masses and even used in a Requiem Mass by Jean Richafort (c.1480-c.1547).
This motet is written in an excellent polyphonic imitative always flowing style and is divided into two parts. It is written by Regnart as an invitatory antiphon (Motet) used at Matins of the Dead or at the Office of the Dead. The first part contains 59 bars starting with Tenor, followed by Discantus, Tenor II, Altus and Bass, the second part contains 63 bars starting with Discantus, followed by Tenor I, Altus, Tenor II and Bass. A superb masterpiece showing how ‘powerful’ the Netherlands craftsmen composed and which high skill of art they possessed. This setting by Regnart was printed in Thesauri musici tomus quartus continens selectissimas quinque vocum harmonias, quas vulgo Motetas vocant [...] Nürnberg: Johann Montanus [Berg] und U. Neuber 1564 and in Novi thesauri musici liber primus quo selectissime planesque nove, nec unquam in lucem edite cantiones sacre (quas vulgo moteta vocant) continentur octo, sepetem, sex, quinque ac quatuor vocum, a prestantissimis ac huius aetatis precipuis Symphoniiacis composite, que in sacra Ecclesia catholica summis solemnibusque festivitatibus, canuntur, ad omnis generis instrumenta musica, accomomodate: Petri Ioannelli bergomensis de Gandino, siummo studio ac labore collectae... - Venezia, A. Gardano, 1568. 6 vol., 162 p. (SATB), 76 f. (5), 44 f. (6).p.56.
Author:Wim Goossens
Text:
R. Circumdederunt me dolores mortis et torrentes iniquitatis conturbaverunt me.
V. Dolores inferni circumdederunt me praeoccupaverunt me laquei mortis.

Translation:
R. The anguish of death surrounds me; and the floods of ungodly men troubled me.
V. The pains of hell are around me, and the snares of death prevented me.
Contributor:Wim Goossens
Lamentabatur Jacob
Period:High Renaissance
Composed in:1568
Musical form:motet
Text/libretto:Latin
In memory of:Jacobus Vaet
Label(s):Ars Musici
Motet for 5 voices, in memory of his teacher and conductor Jacobus Vaet (1529 - 1567).
This motet written on the occasion of the Dead of Jacob Vaet (1529-1567) is written for five voices (SATTB) in an imitative polyphonic style. In the wording Benjamin ducto pro alimonis  bars 51-58  Regnart has chosen for homophonic style to underline the words. Regnart uses a text of a medieval Respond found in several sources in Italy ( c.7071, Benevento, Verona, Monza). Regnart used this text with minor differences compared to the sources, which we underlined. In the used text of “Lamentabatur Jacob” is told Jacob mourns the loss of two of his sons Joseph and Benjamin. It is an old masterpiece, perfectly conveying the sadness of a father mourning his children. This was excellently underlined by Regnart with his notes and the chosen key. This motet by Regnart appeared in printed anthologies Sacrae aliquot cantiones, quae motecta vulgus apellat, quinque et sex vocum, Monachii excudebat Adamus Berg MDLXXV (1575).
Author:Wim Goossens
Text:
Lamentabatur Jacob de duobus filiis suis dicens: heu me dolens sum ego de Joseph perdito et tristis nimis de Beniamin ductor pro alimoniis precor caelestem regem ut me dolentem nimium facias eos cernere.
Contributor:Wim Goossens
Domine, secundum actum meum
Period:High Renaissance
Composed in:1568
Musical form:Motet à 4 vocibus
Text/libretto:Latin from a Responsorium de Officium Defunctorum
Domine, secundum actum meum is a motet from the Responsorium de Officium Defunctorum Ad Matutinum composed by Regnart for four voices (STTB). The Domine, secundum actum meum is an old Responsorium, Respond and still published in the old Liber Usualis page 1798 and is sung after Lectio VIII. The Domine, secundum actum meum is written by Regnart in a modest imitative polyphonic counterpoint. Regnart uses some flats and fine dissonant to give more extra accents to the context and both parts ends in a-minor.
This Respond is divided in two parts and the second part consist out of the normal Versicle ‘ Amplius’ followed by the last part of the Respond which is normal practice. The total motet counts in total 155 bars divided 80 bars and 76 bars for respective first and second part. In the first part the Discantus starts followed by Tenor I, Tenor II and Bassus. Regnart is dark colouring this motet by using a low Tenor I part. The second part starts with Tenor I followed by Discantus, Tenor II and Bass. In this work Regnart uses the old version of the Respond the same like Lassus (1532-1594) did. This version of the Respond is found in Münster, Aquileia, Pavia 10th century, Florence. Regnart didn’t use the wording ‘delicto’ (fault) but used ‘peccata’ (sin) and is placed in the text below between brackets.
Regnart uses extra flats to underline the austere sphere in this motet.
This Respond Domine, secundum actum meum is published in 1568 in Novi atque catholici thesauri musici. Liber secundus quo selectissim[a]e atque planè novae, neque unquam antea in lucem editae cantiones sacrae, quae vulgò moteta vocant, octo, sex, quinque, quatuor vocum compositae à praestantissimis huius aetatis symphoniacis, continentur: quae in sacris catholicorum templis diebus Dominicis canuntur, atque et ad quae vis vis instrumenta musica accomodatae sunt: Petri Ioannelli de Gandino bergomensis summo studio ac labore collectae [...] Venezia: Antonio Gardano 1568.
Author:Wim Goossens
Text:
R. Domine secundum actum meum noli me iudicare nihil dignum in conspectu tuo egi ideo deprecor maiestatem tuam ut tu Deus deleas iniquitatem meam.
V. Amplius lava me, Domine. Ab injustitia mea et a (delicto) peccata meo munda mea. R. ut tu Deus deleas iniquitatem meam.

Translation:
R. Lord do not judge me after my deeds; I have done nothing worthy in your eyes.
Therefore I beseech You in Your majesty to deliver me from my sins.
V. Wash me Lord from my iniquity; and clean me of my sin. R. You God to deliver me from my sins.
Contributor:Wim Goossens
Ad te, Domine, levavi
Period:High Renaissance
Composed in:1575c
Musical form:Motet à 5 vocibus
Text/libretto:Latin Responsorium ad Matutinum de Officium Defunctorum
This Ad te, Domine, levavi is a motet from the Responsorium de Officium Defunctorum Ad Matutinum composed by Regnart for five voices (SATTB). The Ad te, Domine, levavi animam meam 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 102. The choice of texts and the order in which they occur in the sources vary according to local uses! This is in this case too. Regnart starts with the normal first sentence of this Respond.But after the beginning Regnart uses some vulgo verses out of Psalm 24 which in itself is used in the Office of the Dead at the monastery of Cluny in the middle ages.The setting by Regnart was published in Sacrae aliquot cantiones, quae motecta vulgus apellat, quinque et sex vocum, Monachii excudebat Adamus Berg MDLXXV (1575). This motet is written in a fluent modest imitative polyphonic counterpoint, and starts with two paired voices. Regnart uses flats and sharps to express his feelings.
Author:Wim Goossens
Text:
Ad te domine levavi animam meam, in te confisus sum. Respice in me, ne confundar ne laetantur inimici mei super me, inclina ad me aurem tuam, quoniam servus tuus sum ego.
Contributor:Wim Goossens
Peccantem me quotidie
Period:High Renaissance
Composed in:1577c
Musical form:Motet à 4 vocibus
Text/libretto:Latin from a Responsorium de Officium Defunctorum
Peccantem me quotidie is a motet from the Responsorium de Officium Defunctorum Ad Matutinum composed by Regnart for four voices (ATTB). The Peccantem me quotidie is an old Responsorium, Respond which is still published in the old Liber Usualis page 1797 and is sung after Lectio VII in the third Nocturn. But Regnart uses in this case the text of the Respond nr. 68 which is not published in the Liber usualis. This peccantem me quotidie is an old Responsorium. There are about 138 Responsoria de Officium Defunctorum, Responds from Office of the Dead known and used all over Europe during centuries in the Office of the Dead. They are all well ordered, this is number 68. The choice of texts and the order in which they occur in the sources vary according to local uses! This motet by Regnart first appeared in printed anthologies by Gerlach Nuremberg the successor of Jan Berg , Aliquot cantiones, vulgo motecta appellatae atque novo testamento collectae, quator vocum in Officina Catharinae Gerlachin & Haeredum Iohannis Montani MDLXXVII (1577). The dedication is made to Lord Victor August Fugger canon of Passau and Regensburg. This Gerlach Edition is among others found and consulted in Munich.
Regnart has written this Respond motet with the belonging Versicle of the Office of the Dead, Commissa mea nr. 34 in modest polyphonic imitative style in using some flats and sharps. Both parts starts with two paired voices. The motet in total contains 99 bars. It is interesting only the sources of the Vatican and Stuttgart mention the plainchant combination of Peccantem with Commissa mea. This combination was used by Regnart of course due to the fact he worked in the Habsburg region.
Author:Wim Goossens
Text:
Peccantem me quotidie et non me penitentem, timor mortis conturbat me, quia in inferno nulla est redemption. Miserere mei, deus, et salva me. V. Commissa mea pavesco, et ante te erubesco. Cum veneris judicare, noli me condemnare.

Translation:
The fear of death overwhelms me, who sin every day and not repent: for in hell there is no redemption. Have mercy on me O God and spare me V. I dread my judgement and I am ashamed before Thee. When Thou shall come to judgement do not condemn me.
Contributor:Wim Goossens
Domine, quando veneris
Period:High Renaissance
Composed in:1577c
Musical form:Motet à 4 vocibus
Text/libretto:Latin from a Responsorium de Officium Defunctorum
This is a motet from the printed edition, 1577 by Gerlach and Jan von Berg of Nuremberg. The index of this Book counts twenty-four sacred motets among this motet Domine quando veneris and others mentioned on this site. Domine, quando veneris is a motet from the Responsorium de Officium Defunctorum Ad Matutinum composed by Regnart for four voices (SATB). The Domine, quando veneris is an old Responsorium, Respond and still published in the old Liber Usualis page 1787 and is sung after Lectio III in the Office of the Dead. This Respond ( in total 111 bars) with the Versicle Commissa mea is written by Regnart for 4 voices (ATTB). Regnart uses polyphonic imitative style and uses flats and sharps in this Respond to express his feelings and writes it in a more motion style. Regnart uses nearly all the text he omitted the normally sung Requiem aeternam etc.
Author:Wim Goossens
Text:
Domine quando veneris judicare terram,
ubi me abscondam a vultu irae tuae?
Quia peccavi nimis in vita mea.
Commissa mea pavesco, et ante te erubesco:
dum veneris judicare noli me condemnare.

Translation:
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.
I dread my judgement and I am ashamed before Thee.
When Thou shall come to judgement do not condemn me.
Contributor:Wim Goossens