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Benito Julià
1728 - 1787
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B. Julià
Benito [also: Benet] Julià (1728 - 1787), a Spanish composer. He became organist of the Montserrat monastery (Catalunya), where Joan Cererols also lived, from 1754 until his death.
Dom Benito Julia (died 1787), a genial and original composer.
Benito Juliá was born in Torruella 1728, in the diocese of Gerona. At the age of 10 he was admitted as a student at the music school of Montserrat, and on December 1745, he was ordinated at that Benedictine Monastery, where Juliá held the position of organist and later of chapel master, Maestro de Capilla del Real Monasterio de Moserrat. His reputation on both counts was brilliant. He composed many religious works of all kinds, the most esteemed for the truth of expression being the Office of the Dead, Requiem Masses, and the Holy Week Responsories. He stayed all his further live in Montserrat where he passed away in 1787.
Author:Wim Goossens
Missa de difunts (2x)
Musical form:mass
Julià wrote two “Missa de difunts” for four voices.
Contributor:Tassos Dimitriadis
Ofici de difunts
Musical form:officium
Julià some “Ofici de difunts”.
Contributor:Tassos Dimitriadis
Visperas de Difuntos Y Responso
Musical form:Motet à 4 vocibus
Text/libretto:Latin from the Officium Defunctorum ad vesperas
These Vespers consist out of the following movements:
Salmo 1 Dilexi quoniam exaudi Dominus (Psalmus 114) a 4 vocibus.
Salmo 3 Levavi oculos meos in montes (Psalmus 120) a 4 vocibus.
Salmo 5 Confitebor tibi Domine (Psalmus 137) a 4 vocibus.
Magnificat, Magnificat a 4 vocibus.
Responso, Libera me Domine de morte (Respond) a 4 vocibus.

Benito Juliá composed several music for the Office of the Dead among others three Missa de Requiem a 4 voices with continuo, stored in Biblioteca al monasterio de Montserrat de Cataluña AM 2, 31 and 1160. Some but not all Mases are here mentioned above.
Julia wrote further some Responsories del Officium Defunctorum consisting out of two Libera me, Domine a 4 voces and two Regem cui omnia a 4 voces, stored in Biblioteca al monasterio de Montserrat de Cataluña, AM 2 and AM 19,32.
Juliá composed Inventario, salmo y lecciones del Officium Defunctorum consisting out of Two Parce mihi Domine for three voices, Lectio I;
Two Taedet animam meam for three voices, Lectio II;
One Manus tuae fecerunt me for three voices, Lectio III;
Two Domine ne in furore tuo for three voices, Psalmus 6.
These compositions are all parts of the Lessons out of the Officium defunctorum Ad Matutinum published in the Liber Usualis (Edition 1936) pages 1782 up to 1787. All these mentioned pieces are stored in the Biblioteca al monasterio de Montserrat de Cataluña, AM 2883 and AM 19,32.. But Benito Juliá wrote too, a special Vespers of the Dead, named “Visperas de Difuntos”, see the Liber Usualis (edition 1936) pages 1772 up to 1777 and the closing Respond on page 1767-1768. There are not many polyphonic settings of the Vespers of the Dead. That’s why this setting is important and interesting. The Vesper prayers (ad Vesperas) not well-known, are recited in the afternoon just before the Nightfall, organized around five psalms, 114, 119 102, 129 and 137, six antiphonies followed by the Magnificat with Antiphon. Sometimes Psalm 145 (146) “Lauda anima mea” is sung, see Liber Usualis (ed. 1936 page 1776). All these prayers were aimed at encouraging hope before God.
Benito Juliá set only three Psalms of the five available in the Latin Vespers of the Dead.
All movements are set in the alternate style (stile alternatim) for four voices SATB (Tiple, Contralto, Tenor, Baxo) with a figured basso continuo. In the Catholic church, the practice was banned by Pope Pius X in his 1903 Motu proprio, Tra le Sollecitudini, Instruction on sacred music!
The odd verses of the used three psalms are set in SATB and the even verses are set in the prescribes Gregorian mode, the plainchant. The three psalms are set in a homophonic style, with some word painting depending and following the most suitable words. The psalms 114 and 137 ends - of course - with the last prayer in SATB-setting “Et lux perpetua luceat eis, luceat eis.” Psalm 120 ends in verse 9 with SATB-setting ‘Requiem aeternam dona eis Domine’ of course followed by the plainchant ‘Et lux perpetua luceat eis”. All three used psalms by Juliá are set in a different mode, respective: Dorian, Lydian, and Mixolydian. Of course they are all set in function of the Liturgy with a strong believe in God but worth to perform in alternate style.
The SATB verses together contain 190 measures.
In the interesting Magnificat the order of the plainchant and SATB verses is reversed.
The odd verses uses the plainchant and the even verse are set in homophonic style SATB.
So the Magnificat starts with the plainchant “Magnificat anima mea Dominum”. This Magnificat has some minor polyphonic phrases in measures 20-23 in verse four “et sanctum nomen eius”. Further Juliá uses lots of sharps and flats to express his feelings. This Magnificat ends - of course - with the last prayer in SATB-setting “Et lux perpetua luceat eis, luceat eis” with a closing chord in a vast A-major in Dorian mode. This Magnificat SATB-setting consists out of 80 measures.
At the end of this Vespers of the Dead the Respond “Libera me Domine de morte” can be sung. This is not normally practised. This Respond is added and is not published in the Liber Usualis in the part Officium Defunctorum Ad Vesperas. But in the score and title we noted Visperas de Difuntos Y Responso. Nevertheless we will comment this Respond here and not separate.
The ”Libera me Domine de morte” is in general a plainchant from the Exsequiarum Ordo more specific a Responsorium/Respond sung during the final blessing of the coffin on its catafalque. Indeed this Respond is on the other hand sung at the beginning of the Absolutio pro defunctis, so after the Missa pro Defunctis, see the Liber Usualis (ed. 1936 page 1824) and is sung in the Exsequiarum ordo - also before the Mass –. The whole Exsequarium ordo is published in the old Liber Usualis (ed 1936 pages 1763 – 1771). This Libera me Domine de Morte aeterna is a well-known Respond. The Libera me (there are more (4) plain-chant variations known) is an old Responsorium.
But following the text Juliá uses some variations on the later - in 1570 - confirmed Roman text version see page 1767/68 of the old Liber Usualis. In this motet Juliá continues the alternate style (stile alternatim) as which we mentioned in the setting of the Visperas de Difuntos. Juliá starts the “Libera me Domine” with SATB in homophonic style. That start is an introvert Aeolian d-minor chord . As from bar 15 Juliá starts the lively and imposing part of this motet with ‘Quando coeli movendi et terra, when the Heavens and earth are moved.” Juliá underlines the trembling of the earth with a lot of grouped eighth notes in each not rhythmically equal voices/parts. This movement ends in a small Aeolian d-minor chord. It’s uncertain where to continue with the plainchant, because following the text of this Respond the mentioned phrase “Quando coeli etc” will be repeated but only in plainchant. So you can continue in plainchant as from ‘Dum veneris up to “et terra”. There after Juliá sets “Dies illa, dies irae” again for SATB in a homophonic sober style again in Aeolian d- minor. The belonging “Requiem aeternam” sentence will be sung in plainchant. The last ‘Kyrie eleison’ is set by Juliá for SATB
This Visperas de Difuntos Y Responso is stored in the Biblioteca de Monasterio de Montserrat de Cataluña, España, AM 2 and published in Lira Sacro Hispana Siglo XVIII..
Author:Wim Goossens
Psalmus 114

1. Dilexi quoniam exaudiet Dominus vocem orationis meae.
2. Quia inclinavit aurem suam mihi: et in diebus meis invocabo.
3. Circumdederunt me dolores mortis: et pericula inferni invenerunt me.
4. Tribulationem et dolorem inveni: et nomen Domini invocavi.
5. O Domine libera animam meam: misericors Dominus, et iustus et Deus noster miseretur.
6. Custodiens parvulos Dominus: humiliatus sum et liberavit me.
7. Convertere anima mea in requiem tuam: quia Dominus benefecit tibi.
8. Quia eripuit animam meam de morte: oculos meos a lacrimis pedes meos a lapsu.
9. Placebo Domino in regione vivorum.
10. Requiem aeternam dona eis Domine.
11. Et lux perpetua luceat eis.

1. I have loved, because the Lord will hear the voice of my prayer.
2. Because he hath inclined his ear unto me: and in my days I will call upon him.
3. The sorrows of death have encompassed me: and the perils of hell have found me. I met with trouble and sorrow:
4. and I called upon the name of the Lord. O Lord, deliver my soul.
5. The Lord is merciful and just, and our God showed mercy.
6. The Lord is the keeper of little ones: I was little and he delivered me.
7. Turn, O my soul, into thy rest: for the Lord hath been bountiful to thee.
8. For he hath delivered my soul from death: my eyes from tears, my feet from falling.
9. I will please the Lord in the land of the living.
10. Eternal rest give unto them, O Lord.
11. And let perpetual light shine upon them.

Psalmus 120

1. Levavi oculos meos in montes unde veniet auxilium mihi.
2. Auxilium meum a Domino, qui fecit caelum et terram.
3. Non det in commotionem pedem tuum: neque dormitet qui custodit te.
4. Ecce non dormitabit neque dormiet qui custodit Israel.
5. Dominus custodit te, Dominus protectio tua, super manum dexteram tuam.
6. Per diem sol non uret te: neque luna per noctem.
7. Dominus custodit te ab omni malo: custodiat animam tuam Dominus.
8. Dominus custodiat introitum tuum et exitum tuum, ex hoc nunc et usque in saeculum.
9. Requiem aeternam dona eis Domine.
10. Et lux perpetua luceat eis.


1. I have lifted up my eyes to the mountains, from whence help shall come to me.
2. My help is from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
3. May he not suffer thy foot to be moved: neither let him slumber that keeps thee.
4. Behold he shall neither slumber nor sleep, that keeps Israel.
5. The Lord is thy keeper, the Lord is thy protection upon thy right hand.
6. The sun shall not burn thee by day: nor the moon by night.
7. The Lord keeps thee from all evil: may the Lord keep thy soul.
8. May the Lord keep thy going in and thy going out; from henceforth now and for ever.
9. Eternal rest give unto them, O Lord.
10. And let perpetual light shine upon them.

Psalmus 137

1. Confitebor tibi, Domine, in toto corde meo: quoniam audisti verba oris mei.
2. In conspectu angelorum psallam tibi: adorabo ad templum sanctum tuum, et confitebor nomini tuo
3. Super misericordia tua et veritate tua, quoniam magnificasti super omne nomen sanctum tuum.
4. In quacumque die invocavero te, exaudi me; multiplicabis in anima mea virtutem.
5. Confiteantur tibi, Domine, omnes reges terrae: quia audierunt omnia verba oris tui.
6. Et cantent in viis Domini: quoniam magna est gloria Domini;
7. Quoniam excelsus Dominus, et humilia respicit: et alta a longe cognoscit.
8. Si ambulavero in medio tribulationis, vivificabis me; et super iram inimicorum meorum extendisti manum tuam, et salvum me fecit dextera tua.
9. Dominus retribuet pro me. Domine, misericordia tua in saeculum; opera manuum tuarum ne despicias.
10. Requiem aeternam dona eis Domine.
11. Et lux perpetua luceat eis.


1. I will praise Thee, O lord, with my whole heart: for Thou hast heard the words of my mouth.
2. I will sing praise to Thee in the sight of His angels: I will worship towards thy holy temple, and I will give glory to Thy name.
3. For Thy mercy, and for Thy truth: for Thou hast magnified Thy holy name above all.
4. In what day soever I shall call upon Thee, hear me: Thou shall multiply strength in my soul.
5. May all the kings of the earth give glory to Thee: for they have heard all the words of Thy mouth.
6. And let them sing in the ways of the Lord: for great is the glory of the Lord.
7. For the Lord is high, and looketh on the low: and the high He knoweth afar off.
8. If I shall walk in the midst of tribulation, Thou wilt quicken me: and Thou hast stretched forth Thy hand against the wrath of my enemies: and Thy right hand hath saved me.
9.The Lord will repay for me: Thy mercy, O Lord, endureth for ever: O despise not the work of Thy hands.
10. Eternal rest give unto them, O Lord.
11. And let perpetual light shine upon them.


1. Magníficat ánima mea Dóminum.
2. Et exultávit spíritus meus: in Deo salutári meo.
3. Quia respéxit humilitátem ancíllae suae:
Ecce enim ex hoc beátam me dicent omnes generatiónes.
4. Quia fécit mihi mágna qui pótens est: et sánctum nómen eius.
5. Et misericórdia eius in progénies et progénies timéntibus eum.
6. Fécit poténtiam in bráchio suo: dispérsit supérbos mente cordis sui.
7. Depósuit poténtes de sede: et exaltávit húmiles.
8. Esuriéntes implévit bonis: et dívites dimísit inánes.
9. Suscépit Ísrael púerum suum: recordátus misericórdiae suae.
10. Sicut locútus est ad patres nostros: Ábraham, et sémini eius in saecula.
11. Requiem aeternam dona eis Domine.
12. Et lux perpetua luceat eis.


1. My soul doth magnify the Lord.
2. And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
3. Because He hath regarded the humility of His slave: For behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
4. Because He that is mighty hath done great things to me; and holy is His name.
5. And His mercy is from generation unto generations, to them that fear Him.
6. He had shewed might in His arm: He had scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart.
7. He had put down the mighty from their seat, and had exalted the humble.
8. He had filled the hungry with good things; and the rich He had sent empty away.
9. He had received Israel His servant, being mindful of His mercy:
10 .As He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed for ever.
11. Eternal rest give unto them, O Lord.
12. And let perpetual light shine upon them.

Text Responsorium: Libera me Domine, de morte

R. Libera me, Domine, de morte aeterna in die illa tremenda.
Quando coeli movendi sunt et terra,
dum veneris judicare saeculum per ignem.
V. Tremens factus sum ego, et timeo,
dum discussio venerit, atque ventura ira.
R.Quando coeli movendi sunt et terra.
V. Requiem aeternam, dona eis Domine:
et lux perpetua luceat eis.
R.Quando coeli movendi sunt et terra.


R. Deliver me, O Lord, from eternal death, on that fearful day,
when the heavens and the earth are moved,
when you will come to judge the world through fire.
V. I am made to tremble, and I fear, when the desolation shall come,
and also the coming wrath.
R. When the heavens and the earth are moved.
V. Eternal rest give unto them, O Lord
And let perpetual light shine upon them
R. When the heavens and the earth are moved.
Contributor:Wim Goossens