Padre Fray Matias Cardona
1698 - 1755
Spain
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M. Cardona
Padre Fray Matias Cardona (12/1698 - 07/1755). Very little is known about the life of Padre Fray Matias Cardona. He was born in December 1698 in Valls, Tarragona. Perhaps he joined de Monasterio El Escorial as chapel boy. He was a professed priest and bassist of the music chapel. Cardona was a prolific composer. Cardona composed a lot of sacred works which are preserved in the Biblioteca de Monasterio de San Lorenzo El Real de El Escorial de Madrid. He passed away in July 1755 in the mentioned Real Monasterio de San Lorenzo.
Author:Wim Goossens
Lectura de Diffuntos
Padre Fray Matias Cardona composed music on the six Lessons out of the Officium Defunctorum ad matutinum. The lessons in the Office of the Dead Matins/Officium defunctorum ad Matutinum consists out of nine short lessons, we found these six lessons in the biblioteca de Real Monasterio de San Lorenzo de El Escorial Madrid and in the Catalogo del Archivo de Musica por Samuel Rubio, so far.
But these six lessons are not a cycle we think because they are set by Cardona in several different years. We will here refer to the two real cycle-settings by Orlandus Lassus (1532-1594) Lectiones sacrae (1582) and Sacrae Lectiones (1560) which were discussed on this website . The nine Lectiones in general full part of the Office for the Dead from the eleventh Century until the Second Vatican Council in 1965 were substantial revisions and alterations of the total Office in the Catholic Church have been made. This Office of the Dead more specific these Lectiones would be read Ad Matutinum in the morning prior to a Requiem Mass and the Burial and published in the liber Usualis (edition 1936 pages 1779-1799). All nine Lessons in the Service were normally followed by a Responsorium.
See too our comments on the six lessons set by Pedro de Tafalla (1605-1660).
Samuel Rubio (O.S.A.) (1912-1986) is the famous author of the Catálogo del Archivo de Música del Monasterio de San Lorenzo el Real Escorial. It’s interesting in the mentioned Catálogo del Archivo we found in the appendix on page 241, no. 559 the six Lessons a 8 together in one Volume dated 1751.
Author:Wim Goossens
Memento mei deus
Period:Baroque
Musical form:Motet à 4 vocibus aequalibus
Text/libretto:Latin from a Responsorium de Officium Defunctorum
The Memento mei deus is a first plainchant Responsorium from de Officium Defunctorum Ad Matutinum in secundo nocturne. This motet is set by Matias Cardona for four voices (SSAT), with partially figured basso continuo. This means this motet can be sung too for TTBB equal male voices. The Memento mei deus is an old Responsorium, Respond and still published in the old Liber Usualis page 1791 and is sung after Lectio IV in the Office of the Dead at Matins. This Respond is sung at the end of the secundo nocturno/second nocturne out of the Office of the Dead at matins This motet is published in the Monasterio between 1746-1755.
This motet is set in C-Dorian and will be found in the Archivo Musical del El Escorial Madrid no 37660 in the Catalogo del Archivo del Monasterio de San Lorenzo El Real de El Escorial p. 94 Volume 24 no 17 ff. 89-92.
Author:Wim Goossens
Heu Mihi, Domine
Period:Baroque
Musical form:Motet à 4 vocibus aequalium
Text/libretto:Latin out of a Responsoirum de Officium Defunctorum
The “Heu mihi Domine” or (Hei mihi Domine) is a plainchant from the Responsorium de Officium Defunctorum, Ad Matutinum. The “Heu mihi, Domine” is an old Responsorium, a Respond which is published in the old Liber Usualis (edition 1936) page 1791 and is sung after Lectio V in secondo nocturne/ the second nocturne. This motet is set by Matias Cardona for four voices (SSAT) with partially figured basso continuo. This means this motet can be sung too for TTBB equal male voices. This motet is set in Hypo-Lydian and will be found in the Archivo Musical del El Escorial Madrid no 38680 in the Catalogo del Archivo del Monasterio de San Lorenzo El Real de El Escorial (copied by Rodríguez, Francisco de Paula (fl. 1724-1761)) appendix page 245 no 577 and found in Volume 24, page 94 no 145, ff 66-68.
Author:Wim Goossens
Libera me, Domine de morte
Period:Baroque
Composed in:1746
Musical form:Motet a 4 vocibus aequales
Text/libretto:Latin from the Exsequiarum Ordo de Officium Defunctorum
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. This Libera me (there are four (4) plain-chant variations known) is an old Responsorium and sung in the part Absolutio super tulum and is published in the old Liber Usualis (edition 1936) pages part In Exsequiis 1767 – 1768.
In this case the small motet “Libera me, Domine de morte aeterna” is written by Cardona for SSAT with partially figured basso continuo . So this means one can perform this motet too for TTBB four male equal voices. This motet is set in C-Lydiian and will be found in the Archivo Musical del El Escorial Madrid no 37681 in the Catalogo del Archivo del Monasterio de San Lorenzo El Real de El Escorial (copied by Rodríguez, Francisco de Paula (fl. 1724-1761)) appendix page 245 no 576 and in Volume 24, p. 94 no. 19, ff. 102-108.
Author:Wim Goossens
The Memento mei deus is a first plainchant Responsorium from de Officium Defunctorum Ad Matutinum in secundo nocturne. This motet is set by Matias Cardona for four voices (SSAT), with partially figured basso continuo. This means this motet can be sung too for TTBB equal male voices. The Memento mei deus is an old Responsorium, Respond and still published in the old Liber Usualis page 1791 and is sung after Lectio IV in the Office of the Dead at Matins. This Respond is sung at the end of the secundo nocturno/second nocturne out of the Office of the Dead at matins This motet is published in the Monasterio between 1746-1755.
This motet is set in C-Dorian and will be found in the Archivo Musical del El Escorial Madrid no 37660 in the Catalogo del Archivo del Monasterio de San Lorenzo El Real de El Escorial p. 94 Volume 24 no 17 ff. 89-92..
Author:Wim Goossens
Misa de Requiem a 4
Period:Baroque
Composed in:1747
Musical form:Missa à 4 vocibus inaequalium
Text/libretto:Latin mass
As far we know and examined in the sources this Missa de Requiem consists out of the following traditional movements:
- Introito: Requiem aeternam
- Kyries: Kyrie, Christe, Kyrie
- Gradual: Requiem Aeternam
- Secuencia: Dies Irae plainchant
- Offertorio: Libera me Domine
- Sanctus: Sanctus y Benedictus
- Agnus Dei: Agnus Dei
- Communio: Lux aeterna

This Misa de Requiem is set by Matias Cardona for four voices SSAT (TpTpAT) with partly figured basso continuo. This setting means it could also be performed by TTBB. From the gradual "Requiem aeternam" only the verse "In memoria aeterna" has been set to music.
From the Sequentia "Dies irae" the first four verses have been set to music and the last verses too as from the verse “Huic ergo”( middle of verse 19). That means in the performance of the Sequentia you could alternate with the odd verses in coro and some soloists could sing the even plainchant verses. In the remarks we read about the Offertorio “Domine Jesu Christe” ; this song is replaced by the Respond “Libera me Domine.” That Respond is found in the ff 102-108 of volume 24 p. 94 no. 19 one place above the here mentioned Missa de Requiem no. 20 in this volume 24. Matias Cardona nominated this movement “Ofertorio de diffuntos Libera me Domine ; El ofertorio es el libera me Domine”. This remark is interesting because in 1742 Matias Cardona composed two “Domine Jesus Christe” (Ofertorio de la misa de Requiem) motets one for 4 and one for 8 voices with basso continuo. (Source: Samuel Rubio Catalogo del Archivo page 244, no. 569 and no. 570). This score of this Misa de Requiem consists out of the following parts: treble 1º (6 f.), treble 2º (6 f.), alto (6 f.), tenor (6 f.), accompaniment (6 f.). This Misa de Requiem is set in the hypo Lydian mode. The score is probably an original autograph.
This Misa de Requiem can be found in the Archivo Musical del El Escorial Madrid no 38668 in the Catalogo del Archivo del Monasterio de San Lorenzo El Real de El Escorial page 94 no. 20 ff. 108-122 and page 242 no. 563. Samuel Rubio (O.S.A.) (1912-1986) is the famous author of the Catálogo del Archivo de Música del Monasterio de San Lorenzo el Real Escorial.
Author:Wim Goossens
Domine, quando veneris
Period:Baroque
Composed in:1747
Musical form:Motet à 4 vocibus aequalibus
Text/libretto:Latin from a Responsorium de Officium Defunctorum
Domine, quando veneris is a plainchant from the Responsorium de Officium Defunctorum Ad Matutinum, Office of the Dead ad Matins and the text is set by Matias Cardona for four voices (SSAT), with partially figured basso continuo.
That means this motet can be sung too for TTBB equal male voices. The Domine, quando veneris is an old Responsorium, Respond and still published in the old Liber Usualis (edition 1936) page 1787 and is sung after Lectio III in the Office of the Dead. This Respond is sung at the end of the Primo nocturno/first nocturne out of the Office of the Dead at matins.
This motet is set in C-Lydian and will be found in the Archivo Musical del El Escorial Madrid no 37681 in the Catalogo del Archivo del Monasterio de San Lorenzo El Real de El Escorial (copied by Rodríguez, Francisco de Paula (fl. 1724-1761)) appendix page 245 no 574 and found in Volume 24, page 95 no 23, ff 140-143.
Author:Wim Goossens
Misa de Requiem a 8
Period:Baroque
Composed in:1748
Musical form:Missa à 8 vocibus inaequalium
Text/libretto:Latin from the Missa pro Defunctis
As far we know and examined in the sources this Missa de Requiem consists out of the following traditional movements:
- Introito: Requiem aeternam
- Kyries: Kyrie, Christe, Kyrie
- Gradual: Requiem Aeternam
- Secuencia: Dies Irae plainchant
- Offertorio: Domine Jesus Christe
- Sanctus: Sanctus y Benedictus
- Agnus Dei: Agnus Dei
- Communio: Lux aeterna

This Misa de Requiem a 8 is set by Matias Cardona for double choir in coro spezzato style for SSAT coro I and SATB coro II with figured basso continuo. From the gradual "Requiem aeternam" only the verse "In memoria aeterna" has been set to music.
In this case contrary to the Misa de Requiem a 4 Cardona sets in the Offertorio the “Domine Jesu Christe” of the sequence "Dies irae" the first four verses have been set to music and the last verses . too as from the verse “Huic ergo”( middle of verse 19).
That means in the performance of the Sequentia you could alternate with the odd verses in coro and some soloists could sing the even plainchant verses. The score of this Misa de Requiem a 8 consists out of the following parts:
1st chorus treble (4 f.), 1st chorus 2nd treble (4 f.), 1st chorus alto (4 f.), 1st chorus tenor (4 f.), 2nd chorus treble (4 f.), alto 2nd chorus (4 f.), tenor 2nd chorus (4 f.), bass 2nd chorus (4 f.), continuous accompaniment (4 f.), continuous accompaniment (4 f.) This Misa de Requiem is set in the hypo Lydian mode. This Misa de Requiem a 8 can be found in the Archivo Musical del El Escorial Madrid no 38669 in the Catalogo del Archivo del Monasterio de San Lorenzo El Real de El Escorial page 95 no. 24 ff. 144-182 and page 242 no. 562 en no. 564 and in page 102 no 17 ff 126-133.
Author:Wim Goossens
Parce mihi Domine
Period:Classicism
Composed in:1751
Musical form:Motet à 8 vocibus con bc
Text/libretto:Latin from the Officium Defunctorum
This “Parce mihi Domine” is the Lesson I, Lectio primo in primo nocturno used in the Officium Defunctorum ad Matutinum and still used and published in the Office of the Dead at Matins, in the old Liber Usualis (edition 1936) page 1785. This Lesson I, in primo nocturno/in first Nocturne is set by Matias Cardona which is normally used at the Office of the Dead ad Matins in the Spanish Liturgy.
This motet is set for double choir consisting out of coro I SSAT and coro II SATB with partially figured basso continuo. This motet is set in C-Dorian. This motet “Parce mihi Domine” is published between 1750 and 1755 by Real Monasterio de San Lorenzo de El Escorial and is found in the Archivo Musical del El Escorial Madrid no 37678 in the Catalogo del Archivo del Monasterio de San Lorenzo El Real de El Escorial page 96 Volume 24 no. 35 ff 278-285 and on page 241 no. 559.
Author:Wim Goossens
Manus tuae Domine fecerunt me
Period:Classicism
Composed in:1751
Musical form:Motet à 8 vocibus con bc
Text/libretto:Latin from the Officium Defunctorum
This “Manus tuae Domine fecerunt me” is Lesson III, Lectio tertio in primo nocturno used in the Officium Defunctorum ad Matutinum and still used and published in the Office of the Dead at Matins, in the old Liber Usualis (edition 1936) page 1787. This Lesson III in primo nocturno/in first nocturne is set by Matias Cardona in polychoral style Coro I SSAT and Coro II SATB with figured Basso continuo and is set in f- hypo Lydian. Coro II has no Basso continuo.
This motet “Manus tuae Domine fecerunt me” is published between 1750 and 1755 by Real Monasterio de San Lorenzo de El Escorial and is found in the Archivo Musical del El Escorial Madrid no 37679 in the Catalogo del Archivo del Monasterio de San Lorenzo El Real de El Escorial page 96 Volume 24 no. 36 ff 286-292, and on page 241 no. 559..
Author:Wim Goossens
Responde mihi
Period:Classicism
Composed in:1751
Musical form:Motet à 8 vocibus con bc
Text/libretto:Latin from the Officium Defunctorum
This “Responde mihi” is the Lesson I, Lectio primo , in secundo nocturno used in the Officium Defunctorum ad Matutinum (in fact in total Lectio IV/ Lectio Quarta) and is still used and published in the Office of the Dead at Matins, in the old Liber Usualis (edition 1936) page 1791. This Lesson I in secundo nocturno/in second nocturne is set by Matias Cardona in polychoral style Coro I SSAT and Coro II SATB with bajo continuo/ partially figured basso continuo and is set in G-Hypo Dorian/ Modo II. Coro II has no Basso continuo.
This motet “Responde mihi” is published between 1750 and 1755 by Real Monasterio de San Lorenzo de El Escorial and is found in the Archivo Musical del El Escorial Madrid no. 37680 in the Catalogo del Archivo del Monasterio de San Lorenzo El Real de El Escorial page 96 Volume 24, no. 37 ff 293-300, and page 241 no. 559.
Author:Wim Goossens
Quis mihi hoc tribuat
Period:Classicism
Composed in:1751
Musical form:Motet à 8 vocibus con bc
Text/libretto:Latin from the Officium Defunctorum
This “Quis mihi hoc tribuat” is the Lesson III, Lectio tertio in secundo nocturno used in the Officium Defunctorum ad Matutinum (in fact in total Lectio VI/Lectio sexta) and is still used and published in the Office of the Dead at Matins, in the old Liber Usualis (edition 1936) page 1792. This Lesson III in secundo nocturno/in second nocturne is set by Matias Cardona in polychoral style Coro I SSAT and Coro II SATB with bajo continuo con parte cifrado, basso continuo partially figured) and is set in c-Lydian. Coro II has no Basso continuo.
This motet “Quis mihi hoc tribuat” is published between 1750 and 1755 by Real Monasterio de San Lorenzo de El Escorial and is found in the Archivo Musical del El Escorial Madrid no 37681 in the Catalogo del Archivo del Monasterio de San Lorenzo El Real de El Escorial page 96 Volume 24 no. 38 ff 301-308, and page 241 no 559,
Author:Wim Goossens
Spiritus meus attenuabitur
Period:Classicism
Composed in:1751
Musical form:Motet à 8 vocibus con bc
Text/libretto:Latin from the Officium Defunctorum
This “Spiritus meus attenuabitur” is the Lesson I, Lectioprimo in tertio nocturno used in the Officium Defunctorum ad Matutinum (in fact in total Lectio VII, lectio septima) and is still used and published in the Office of the Dead at Matins, in the old Liber Usualis (edition 1936) page 1797. This Lesson I in tertio nocturno/in third nocturne is set by Matias Cardona in polychoral style Coro I SSAT and Coro II SATB with bajo continuo, basso continuo partially figured and is set in G-hypo Dorian. Coro II has no Basso continuo.
This motet “Spiritus meus attenuabitur” is published between 1750 and 1755 by Real Monasterio de San Lorenzo de El Escorial and is found in the Archivo Musical del El Escorial Madrid no 37682 in the Catalogo del Archivo del Monasterio de San Lorenzo El Real de El Escorial page 96 Volume 24 no. 39 ff 309-317 and page 241 no 559.
Author:Wim Goossens
Quare de vulva eduxisti me
Period:Classicism
Composed in:1751
Musical form:Motet à 8 vocibus con bc
Text/libretto:Latin from the Officium Defunctorum
This “Quare de vulva eduxisti me ” is the Lesson III, Lectio tertio in tertio nocturno used in the Officium Defunctorum ad Matutinum (in fact in total Lectio IX, lectio nona) and is still used and published in the Office of the Dead at Matins, in the old Liber Usualis (edition 1936) page 1798. This Lesson III in tertio nocturno/in third nocturne is set by Matias Cardona in polychoral style Coro I SSAT and Coro II SATB with bajo continuo, basso continuo partially figured and is set in hypo Lydian. Coro II has no Basso continuo.
This motet “Quare de vulva eduxisti me” is published between 1750 and 1755 by Real Monasterio de San Lorenzo de El Escorial and is found in the Archivo Musical del El Escorial Madrid no 37683 in the Catalogo del Archivo del Monasterio de San Lorenzo El Real de El Escorial page 96 Volume 24 no. 40 ff 318-326, and page 241 no. 559.

Epilogue. We studied the catalogo del Archivo de Musica del monasterio de San Lorenzo de El Escorial por Samuel Rubio, MCMLXXVI. Rubio concluded on page 96 en 97 Matias Cardona wrote six Lecciones breves de los tres nocurtnos de difuntos, a 8! Rubio mentioned which we discussed here above the following lessons out of the three Nocturns of the Dead: 1. Parce mihi, Domine no. 35 ; 2. Manus tuae no. 36 3. Responde mihi no. 37 4. Quis mihi, no 38 5. Spiritus meus no 39 and 6. Quare de vulva no.40. Pedro Tafalla above mentioned who worked in the same Monastery San Lorenzo de Madrid has set the same six Lessons to music.
Author:Wim Goossens
Libera me, Domine de morte
Period:Classicism
Composed in:1752
Musical form:Motet a 4 vocibus inaequales
Text/libretto:Latin from the Exsequiarum Ordo de Officium Defunctorum
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. This Libera me (there are four (4) plain-chant variations known) is an old Responsorium and sung in the part Absolutio super tulum and is published in the old Liber Usualis (edition 1936) pages part In Exsequiis 1767 – 1768.
In this case the motet “Libera me, Domine de morte aeterna” is written by Cardona for SATB with partially figured basso continuo . In the catalogue under no 41 is added the following comment:.“Alternate with the Gregorian chant according to the traditional Spanish form, that is, half a phrase SATB, and half a Gregorian chant”.
This motet is set in D-Dorian and will be found in the Archivo Musical del El Escorial Madrid no 37684 in the Catalogo del Archivo del Monasterio de San Lorenzo El Real de El Escorial page 97 Volume 24 no. 40 ff 327-329.
Author:Wim Goossens