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Manuel de Tavares
c.1585 - 1638
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M. de Tavares
Manuel de Tavares (ca. 1585 - 1638), an early-seventeenth century Portuguese composer, who was born in Portalegre, near to the Spanish border. Less is known about his education. De Tavares learned music in the cathedral (The Santa Maria, called the Sé) of his hometown with the master António Ferro (16th Century) who was a pupil of Manuel Mendes (1547-1605). From Ferro’s school came other composers such as Manuel Leitão de Avilez (16th c.-1630) (chapel master in Úbeda and Granada), the mentioned Manuel de Tavares (chapel master in Baeza, Murcia, Las Palmas and Cuenca) and João Baptista Gomes (16th c.- -1653) (chaplain in Vila Viçosa). The political union Portugal and Spain between 1580 and 1640 created in general great career opportunities for Portuguese composer in Spain and in the New World. As already mentioned before De Tavares held the post of maestro di capilla in several Spanish cathedrals like Baeza, Murcia, Las Palmas, Gran Canaria and Cuenca cathedrals. Manuel de Tavares was a quite known composer in his time, but as so often the music of Manuel de Tavares was almost completely forgotten in modern editions and most of it lost. He passed away in Cuenca (Spain) in 1638. The only work that’s printed in a modern edition – the Parce mihi Domine a 7 – was publish at Antologia de Polifonia Portuguesa in the colection Portugaliae Musica, edited by Robert Stevenson. In RISM are mentioned some choir-books: 1-69f. Manuscript copy out of 1739 and choir-book Manuscript copy: 1844 (1844)choir-book: 1-69f. Here we see the attribution to Tavares, by the index of the choir-book, and by the old musical inventory of the cathedral de Murcia Manuel de Tavares wrote among others Passio secumdum Lucam, secundum Marcum, secundum Joannem, secundum Matthaeum found in Murcia, Archivo Catedralicio de Murcia and other sacred motets, Popule meus, Lumen ad revelationem, Benedictus Dominus Deus Israel found in another choir-book.
Author:Wim Goossens
Parce mihi Domine
Period:Late Renaissance
Musical form:Motet for CCAATTB
Text/libretto:Latin Lectio I out of Officium Defunctorum
Label(s):SK 66288
This motet Parce mihi Domine is the integrally text of Lectio One taken out of the Office of the Dead, Officium Defunctorum ad Matutinum. Nine Lessons of the Offide of the Dead ad Matins are published in the Liber Usualis. This lesson one is published in liber Usualis (edition 1936 p. 1785).
This motet is set by Manuel de Tavares for seven voices CCAATTB. The text of this lesson is taken out of the Book of Job 7.d. This motet Parce mihi Domine set in paraphrased polychoral style consists out of 82 measures. In the Renaissance period more composers have set parts or the whole Officium defunctorum we mention Giosoffo Zarlino (1517-1590), Giovanni Asola (c.1528-1609), Estêvâo de Brito (c.1570 - 1641), Lodovico da Viadana (1564 - 1627), Duarte Lôbo -Latin: Eduardus Lupus- (c.1565 - 1646), Marco da Gagliano (1582 - 1642), Giovanni Giacomo Gastoldi (c.1554 – 1622), Filipe de Magalhães (c.1571 – 1652), Sebastián de Vivanco (ca.1551 - 1622), Orlandus Lassus- (1532 - 1594), Christobal de Morales (c.1500 - 1553), Juan Vasquez (ca.1510 - 1560). As from the beginning De Tavares starts in a more homophonic imitative polychoral style with lively elements (Ms 4-11) which ends in Ms-22 on major-A. As from that measure series of changing chords, mode and changing rhythm occur that highlights in word-painting “Visitas eum diloculo et subito probas illum”, (Ms 23-28). De Tavares sets a lot of unexpected modulations throughout this whole motet. The second closing is in Ms 39 again in major-A. The Ms 40 “Peccavi, I have sinned” starts more introvert. Each part starts imitative but guilty on the words “Peccavi, I have sinned” (Ms 40-45). The second rhythm part in polychoral style is on the words “Quid faciam tibi, what shall I do?” as from Ms 45-47. (Chorus CCAT and ATB and CCAT). The third part with rhythm and syncope is set as from Ms 62-70, “Gravis cur non tollis peccatum meum” concluded with “Et quare non aufers iniquitatem meam.” This moving motet ends in E-Phrygian. We hear in this motet the start of the Baroque. We wonder if De Tavares could have set a full Officium Defunctorum? This motet is published in a modern edition Antologia de Polifonia Portuguesa (1460-1680), Lisboa 1982.
Author:Wim Goossens

♫ Parce mihi Domine
© Sony SK 66288
Prima pars
Parce mihi Domine nihil enim sunt dies mei.
Quid est homo quia magnificas eum?
aut quid apponis erga eum cor tuum?
Visitas eum diluculo, et subito probas illum.
Usquequo non parcis mihi nec dimittis me,
ut glutiam salivam meam?
Secunda pars
Peccavi, quid faciam tibi o custos hominum?
Quare posuisti me contrarium tibi,
et factus sum mihimetipsi gravis?
Cur non tollis peccatum meum,
et quare non aufers iniquitatem meam?
Ecce nunc in pulvere dormiam:
et si mane me quaesieris, non subsistam.

First part
Spare me O Lord for my days are nothing.
What is man, that thou magnifies him:
or why settest thou thy heart toward him?
Thou dost visit him early in the morning,
and suddenly thou provest him.
How long dost thou not spare me, nor suffer me,
that I swallow my spittle?
Second part
I have sinned. What shall I do to thee, O keeper of men?
Why hast thou set me contrary to thee,
and I am become burdensome to myself?
Why dost thou not take away my sin,
and why dost thou not take away mine iniquity?
Behold now I shall sleep in the dust,
and if thou seek me in the morning, I shall not be.
Contributor:Wim Goossens