Thomas Sailly
c.1553 - 1623
Belgium / The Netherlands
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Th. Sailly
Thomas Sailly, Sailius or Saillio (ca.1553 - 1623), a Dutch composer. He was born around 1553 at Brussels, he embraced at young age the ecclesiastical state, and became canon at Veurne in Flanders and later on canon in the Cathedral of Atrecht. At the age of 27 years old Sailly withdrew from his benefices and he joined the order of the Society of Jesus the Jesuits. Together with Antonius Possevin (1533-1611) Sailly worked in Moscow at the union with the Catholic Church and the Russian Church, which failed. He became tired and ill came back from his journeys and joined into the Service of Alexander Farnese Duke of Parma (1545-1592), whom he followed as his special priest in the army.
Thomas Sailly was appointed Principal of Saint Jan Berchmans college in Brussels from 1611 to 1614, but he still served the Duke of Parma. Unfortunately nothing is known about his musical education.
Sailly was author of several works named Thesaurus litaniarum ac orationum sacer available in the files of the Royal Library of Brussels and published in 1598 by two different editors in Brussels and Paris, Rutgeri Velpii Bruxellae and Claudium Chappelet via Iacobea, sub signo Unicornis Parisiis.
And in 1609 is published Thesaurus precum et exercitiorum spiritualium, in usum presertim sodalitatis Partheniae in Antwerp by Plantijn, Ioannem Moretum. The contents of these volumes are unknown to us. There seems devotions and prayers in it. All volumes to be found in the Royal Library of Brussels.
Nevertheless four of his compositions Peccantem me quotidie, In omni tribulatione, Magnificat VI toni, Litaniae de nomine Jesu are published in “Litaniae septem deiparae virgini musice decantandae” by Pierre Phalesius, in 1598 Antwerp and are today still present in the files of the Royal Library of Brussels. Thanks to André Vierendeels who edited in 1995 these four pieces. Sailly belonged to the fifth generation of Netherlandish composers and wrote in an imitative polyphonic style. The Litaniae de nomine Jesu is more homophonic with alternate Chant in the Cantus 1.
Author:Wim Goossens
Peccantem me
Period:High Renaissance
Composed in:1598c
Musical form:Motet à 5 vocibus inaequalium
Text/libretto:Latin out of de Officium Defunctorum
Duration:1'45''
“Peccantem me quotidie” is normally a plainchant from the Responsorium de Officium Defunctorum Ad Matutinum. The Peccantem me quotidie is an old Responsorium, a Respond which is still published in the old Liber Usualis page 1797 and is sung after Lectio VII in the third Nocturn.
In this case the far really unknown composer Thomas Sailly – belonging to the fifth generation of Netherlandish composers - mixed up parts of the mentioned Respond Peccantem me quotidie the first sentence with two sentences out of the Lectio VIII from the Officium Defunctorum Ad Matutinum which are published in the Liber Usualis (page 1797) to a Peccantem me. We remember for instance and see further in this site Orlando di Lasso (1532-1594) who composed in motet-form two collected Lessons, Lectiones sacrae and Sacrae Lectiones all nine out of the Officium Defunctorum ad Matitutinum. So did Sailly in a real small way and on his own way.
See the text part and the references below. The choice of texts and the order in which the Responds normally occur in the sources as we saw in the Renaissance period vary according to local uses! So certainly in this case.
This motet Peccantem me is composed by Sailly for five voices (CCTTB). In an imitative fluently polyphonic counterpoint the parts following each other, starting with Cantus 1, followed by Tenor 2, Cantus 2, Tenor 1 and Bassus. The motet in total contains 45 bars.
Noteworthy is the musical climax achieved through the rhetorical repetition of the question “ et carnibus meis saturamini” underlined with a symbolic highest note (e3) in bar 43. Sailly uses a lot of accidentals. This work is with three other known works by Sailly published in Antwerp in: Litaniae semen Deipare Virgine – Anvers – P. Phalesius 1598.
Author:Wim Goossens
Text:
R. Peccantem me quotidie et non penitentem me, timor mortis conturbat me,
Lectio VIII. Miseremini mei, miseremini mei saltem vos, amici mei, quia manus Domini tetigit me,
Quare persequimini me sicut Deus et carnibus meis saturamini?

Translation:
R. The fear of death overwhelms me, who sin every day and not repent,
Lectio VIII. Have pity on me, have pity on me, at least you my friends, because the hand of the Lord has touched me,
Why do you persecute me as God, and glut yourselves with my flesh?
Contributor:Wim Goossens