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Blasius Amon
c.1560 - 1590
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B. Amon
Blasius Amon (c.1560 - 15/08/1590), an Austrian composer and singer (born in Imst, Hall (Tirol), died in Vienna).
Author:Theo Willemze
Amon Blasius was an Austrian composer. He was born in Hall in Tirol, Austria. Amon Blasius was from about 1568 a chorister at the archducal court of Ferdinand II at Innsbruck until 1577, when he went to study in Venice. At that time the Netherlander Alexander Utendal (c.1540-1581) served from 1564 in Innsbruck and was from 1572 appointed deputy Chapel Master ”Vice Kapellmeister” in succeeding Jacques/Jakob Regnart (1540-1599). So was another Netherlander Guillaume Bruneau (c.1519-1584) from 1564 Chapel-master in Innsbruck. Utendal and Bruneau instructed the choristers in the court chapel and Utendal held this position until his death in 1581. Blasius had to be among the choristers. It is evident Blasius was instructed by the Netherlands musicians available at the archducal court of Ferdinand II in Innsbruck. Blasius returned from Italy later on and joined the Franciscan Order. In 1585 he was cantor at the Franciscan monastery of ‘Heiligenkreuz’, moving to Vienna in 1587. His four volumes of published church music (some posthumous) in 1582, 1588, 1590 and 1593 show a strong influence of Venice, and he may have been the first German-speaking composer with Jacobus Gallus (1550-1591) to use the plurichoral style (for instance ‘Confitemini’ a 8 vocibus and the splendid ‘Cantate Domino’ a 8) and other Venetian elements, in his motets. Most of his Church compositions – and that’s interesting - are written in accordance on a church occasion or a church day celebration. He passed away the 15th of August 1590.
Author:Wim Goossens
Missa pro defunctis
Period:High Renaissance
Composed in:1588
Musical form:mass
Text/libretto:Latin mass
Label(s):TLMF CD 091
Missa pro defunctis is for four voices. It is part of Missae quatuor vocum quibus unica […] pro fidelibus defunctis est adiecta.
It contains:
01. Introitus: Requiem aeternam 2'06
02. Kyrie Christe Kyrie 2'55
03. Graduale: Requiem aeternam 2'00
04. Offertorium: Domine Jesu Christe 5'00
05. Sanctus 2'06
06. Benedictus 1'25
07. Agnus Dei I, II, III 4'38
08. Responsorium Tractus: Absolve Domine 2'41
Missa pro Defunctis was in 1588 published with four other Masses by Blasius in Vienna in Missae quatuor, vocibus quaternis in divino Dei cultu decantandae, quibus unica quatuor etiam vocum pro fidelibus defunctis est adiecta Wien: Michael Apffl 1588. The Requiem is written for four voices (CATB) and has in all parts a very modest imitative polyphonic style. Blasius sometimes uses homophone phrases and starts the Gregorian versions with Plainchant which is normal. From the homophone phrases I mention ‘Et lux perpetua’ in the Gradual. The parts in this Mass of the Dead, Missa pro Defunctis – with exclusion of the Offertorium - are not very long, perhaps due to the fact this Mass has been used for the Services in the Franciscan monastery. The Offertorium consists out of 111 bars and the ‘Quam olim Abramhae’ (bars 55-70)and is an interesting part of this Requiem. In the rich Sanctus Blasius has chosen for two variations of the ‘Osanna’. The chosen Responsorium/Responsorial at the end is interesting.
I found an ‘Absolve Domine’ not a part of the usual Tractus in the Liber Usualis page 1809 but a text from a separate old Respond with belonging Vresicle.
This used ‘Absolve Domine’ is an old Responsorium, Respond. 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 138. The second part, pars secunda of this motet is “Requiem aeternam” the Versicle following and belonging to this Respond. The Versicle “Requiem aeternam” number 198 is used in the Office of the Dead. It is known, the use of Responds and Versicles of The Office of the Dead vary per region all over Europe. In general this Respond and Versicle is far as known used what we call now in the Western part of Europe (Low Countries) so among others used in Abbey of St. Bavon of Gand in the diocese of Tournai and the Respond ‘Absolve me’ is estimated as a typical Responsories/Respond of that region and used in the first nocturne. This version is further found in Verdun, Liège, Brussels, Lille, St. Omer, St. Vedast, the Haegue, Deventer and Utrecht and is sung in the first nocturne. In this sense it is interesting or Blasius or the Franciscan order has been influenced by the chosen text by Netherlands musicians. See we for instance the Missa pro Defunctis written by his contemporaries Jacobus de Kerle (c.1531-1592) Prague the used text of the Tractus is ‘Ti ambulem’.
In this particular case I mention the chosen Latin text in my comment, with the remark Blasius uses ‘respirent’ instead of ‘merantur’.
R. Absolve Domine, animas eorum ab omni vinculo delictorum, ut in resurrectionis gloria inter sanctos tuos resuscitari merantur (respirent). V. Requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat ei. R. ut in resurrectionis gloria inter sanctos tuos resuscitari merantur (respirent).
Author:Wim Goossens