Giaches de Wert
1535 - 1596
Belgium / The Netherlands
G. de Wert
Giaches de Wert (1535 - 06/05/1596), a Flemish composer who was born in Weert/Wert near Antwerp and died in Mantua 1596. From an early stage de Wert lived in Italy and served in Avellino (near Napoli), Parma, Milano, Ferrara and Mantua. He published 13 volumes of madrigals. De Wert is certainly considered the link between Cypriano de Rore and Claudio Monteverdi. In 1565 he was appointed Maestro di Cappella Santa Barbara the Gonzaga in Mantua where in 1590 Monteverdi joined the Cappella. De Wert was the last Flemish composer who played on the highest level a leading musical role in Italy.
Author:Wim Goossens
Missa Defunctorum
Period:High Renaissance
Musical form:mass
Text/libretto:Latin mass
Missa Defunctorum for four voices.
Source:Robert Chase, Dies Irae: A Guide to Requiem Music, Scarecrow Press, Inc. 2003
Adesto dolori meo
Period:High Renaissance
Composed in:1566c
Musical form:motet à 6
Label(s):KRT 32001
Accent 20021
ACT 9291
DTR 2014
A motet from the Responsorium de Officium defunctorum composed for six voices (SSA/TTTB). The Adesto dolori meo is an old Responsorium. There are about 138 Responsoria de Officium defunctorum known and used during centuries in the Office of the Dead. They are all well ordered. This setting by De Wert was published in Motectorum quinque Vocum, Liber Primus (1566).
De Wert uses from the beginning a very sophisticated contrapuntal polyphonic style, with some repeating chromatic lines in all voices in the first 14 bars. To make differences and to bring accent and contrast in following the text De Wert uses by the wording "Et cantatio mea," "my singing" ( bars 39 – 44) quicker and shorter notes compared to "in plorationem," "into weeping" (bars 44 -52) which is set in very long notes. Those phrases will be repeated and at the end is a descending line in the Cantus/Superior.

Responsorium nr 3:

Adesto dolori meo, O Deus, nimium fatigor,
et cecidit in luctum Cythara mea,
et cantatio mea in plorationem.

(I am consumed with my grief, O God,
I am too much tormented;
My harp has fallen into mourning,
My singing into weeping.)
Author:Wim Goossens
Peccavi super numerum
Period:High Renaissance
Composed in:1581c
Musical form:motet
Label(s):CBS records MVCD 1121
GDCD 022
Accent Records B000025T2G/ 1999
Peccavi super Numerum is a plainchant from the Responsorium de Officium Defunctorum. There are about 138 Responsoria de Officium Defunctorum known and used during centuries in the Office of the Dead. They are all well-ordered. The Peccavi super numerum is number 69. This Respond is known in the series of Lyon, but the Respond of Lyon has another Versicle no. 170, instead of the used Versicle by De Wert (no. 190). The Versicle ‘Quoniam iniquitatem’ is verse 4 out of Psalm 50 which is used in the Office of the Dead (Liber Usualis ed. 1936 page 1800). The first part of this Respond is out of the apocryphal Prayer of Manasseh. De Wert uses the normal Repetition of the last sentence of the Respond Quoniam irritavi fram tuam etc. which is normal in the use of a whole Respond in the liturgy. This text is composed for six voices (SSATTTB) by the South-Netherlandish composer Giaches de Wert as a motet. It is a very long motet which consists out of 164 bars. De Wert starts in the first five bars in a homophonic way and continues thereafter with an interesting imitative polyphonic style. The words “et non sum dignus videre altitudinem caeli, and I am not worthy to view the height of heaven” (Bars 22-33) are set in all parts in an ascending chromatic way. In the “Quoniam irritavi iram tuam, because I have provoked your wrath” ( Bars 47-58) you hear the irritation and the provocation painted in the lively short figured notes. De Wert underlines the importance of the words “et malum coram te fecit, and done evil in your sight” in all parts with all descending brevi. (Long notes in bars 58-68). The first part ends in G-Dorian. The second part the Versicle “Quoniam” starts with imitative polyphonic style. The words “ego cognosco, my transgression” are set in an interesting polychoral style (Bars 94-101). The repetition of the last part of the Respond (as from bar 129) in the Versicle is even musically identic to that last same part and words of the Respond. The second part ends in G-Dorian. Only Cantus1 and Cantus 2 have changed places with their notes compared to the Respond. In this imposing motet you hear the great skills of one of the masters of the fifth South-Netherlandish generation Giaches de Wert. This setting was published in Modulationem cum sex vocibus, Liber primus (1581).
Author:Wim Goossens
R Peccávi súper númerum arénae máris,
et multiplicáta sunt peccáta méa:
et non sum dígnus vidére altitúdinem caéli,
prae multitúdine iniquitátis méae:
quóniam irritávi íram túam, et málum córam te féci.

V.Quóniam iniquitátem méam égo cognósco,
et delíctum méum cóntra me est sémper,
tíbi sóli peccávi,
R.quóniam irritávi íram túam, et málum córam te féci.


R. I have sinned beyond the number of the sands of the sea,
and my sins have multiplied:
and I am not worthy to view the height of heaven,
for the multitude of my iniquity:
because I have provoked your wrath, and done evil in your sight.

V Because I know my iniquity, and my transgression
is always against me,
I have sinned against you alone,
R. because I have provoked your wrath, and done evil in your sight.
Contributor:Wim Goossens