Ippolito Baccusi
c.1550 - 1609
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I. Baccusi
Ippolito Baccusi (also Boccosi, Baccusio, Bachusi, Baccusii, Hippolyti) (c.1550 – 02/09/1609) was an Italian composer of the late Renaissance. Baccusi was active in the northern part of Italy especially in Venice, Mantua, and Verona. Baccusi was certain a member of the Venetian School of composers, and wrote both sacred and secular vocal music. Little is known of Baccusi’s life other than some details of a few appointments, and what can be inferred from the dedications Baccusi wrote for his music-publications. Baccusi was born in Mantua. Somewhere in the late 1560s Baccusi was appointed assistant-director of the choir at St. Mark’s in Venice. Baccusi did not stayed for long in Venice. In 1572 Baccusi was maestro di cappella at the church of Sant'Eufemia in Verona. In 1583 Baccusi was appointed maestro di cappella at Mantua Cathedral. In 1592 Baccusi was appointed maestro di cappella at Verona Cathedral, where he remained for the rest of his life. Baccusi's music is in the Venetian style and Baccusi is influenced by Netherlandish Adrian Willaert (c.1480-1562), Giaches de Wert (1535-1596), Cipriano de Rore (1516-1565) and of course the Italian Andrea Gabrieli (1533-1585). Baccusi was a prolific composer. Baccusi’s music was mostly published in Venice. It consists out of six books of masses, six books of motets and psalm settings, and seven books of madrigals, including a complete setting as a madrigal cycle of Petrarch's 11-stanza Vergine. Baccusi composed five- and six-voice settings of poems celebrating the Venetian victory over the Turks at Lepanto (1571). In the introductions to Baccusi’s publications of masses and motets in 1596 and 1597 Baccusi mentioned the practice of instrumental doubling of vocal parts, a performance absolutely associated with and developed in the famous Venetian School.
Author:Wim Goossens
Si bona suscepimus
Period:High Renaissance
Composed in:1579
Musical form:Motet a 6 vocibus aequalium
Text/libretto:Latin from a Responsorium de Officium Defunctorum
This plainchant Si bona suscepimus is an old Responsorium. 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 87. One of the two corresponding Versicle from the Office of the Dead “ Nudus egressus” number 156 is even used by Jacobus Clement (1515-1556), Gombert (c.1495-c.1557), Phillip Verdelot ( 1480/85 – 1530/32), Lassus (1532-1594), Lechner (1553-1606) and Thomas Selle (1599-1663) did. But on the other hand Hans Leo Hassler (1564-1612) and Claudin de Sermisy (1490-1562) used only the Respond version without the Versicle-part so did Constanzo Porta (1529-1601). It is known the use of Responds and Versicles of the Office of the Dead vary per region all over Europe, see for instance the authors Knud Ottosen, Ruth Steiner and R-J Hesbert.
This particularly Respond ‘Si bona suscepimus’ is a Respond too out of the Office of the Dead it is used and found in the series of Deventer Holland and preserved in the University of Amsterdam. Next to it the more general type (Respond-Type 25 see Knud Ottosen) to which this Respond ‘Si bona suscepimus’ belongs is spread in the area under the Ottonian and Salian emperors the counties of Lower Lorraine, of Flanders, Champgane and the northern part of Holland. The principal source is found before 1318 in Aachen, executed in Aix-la-Chapelle as we see in Knud Ottosen’s excellent book. In general the text of Si bona suscepimus is coming out of the Book Job. The choice of texts and the order in which they occur in the sources all around Europe vary according to local uses. This specially text setting is found in a source out of 1516 and is preserved in Amsterdam the Netherlands. This Respond is sung at the end/closing of the third nocturne. Although not located this Respond has to be in use in the above mention area. Of course we know there is a plainchant Si bona suscepimus sung at the first Sunday of September (15th Sunday after Pentecost) with nearly the same text. But only one reference to this Sunday in connection with this Si bona suscepimus is given by Hesbert and by monk Hartker (around 1010). Important for us, the used setting of Versicle no. 156 Nudus egressus sum occurs here in the mentioned area and in the Office of Dead tradition from Soissons.
This long setting of the motet Si bona suscepimus - consisting out of 99 bars - is written by Baccusi for six voices SSSATB. This motet is written in polyphonic imitative style even with created imitative polychoral settings. The Soprano II starts followed by Soprano I, Altus, Soprano III, Bassus and Tenor in an imitative polyphonic Venetian style. Baccusi is surely influenced by the Netherlandish working at St. Mark’s. Nearly all parts – excluded Soprano III - starts with two semitones (e-f-e or a-Bb-a). This start creates an austere sphere. Baccusi introduces in this motet two specific homophonic phrases in polychoral style, executed by different parts creating six different choirs “Dominus dedit, Dominus abstulit sicut Domino placuit ita factum est, Sit nomen Domini” (in bar 25 up to 34 and repeated in bar 72 up to 81). Here Baccusi underlines the specific wording ” The Lord gives and the Lord hath taken away: even as it hath pleased the Lord, so comes things to pass. The name of the Lord.” That set up is absolutely associated with the famous Venetian School. In the second part – from bar 53 - Baccusi starts with the belonging Versicle “Nudus egressus sum”. Conform normal, historical and liturgical practises a part of the Respond will be repeated so did Baccusi with the already above mentioned and explained phrase “Dominus dedit”. The first movement of this motet closes in a-minor and the second movement in A-major. This motet ‘Si bona suscepimus’ is published in Motectorum cum quinque, sex et octo vocibus. Liber primus (Venetiis, apud Haeredes Francisci Rampazetti) 1579.
Author:Wim Goossens
Text Si Bona suscepimus:
R. Si bona suscepimus de manu Domini, mala autem quare non sustineamus?
Dominus dedit, Dominus abstulit: sicut Domino placuit, ita factum est:
Sit nomen Domini benedictum.
V. Nudus egressus sum de utero matris mei, et nudus revertar illuc.
R. Dominus dedit, Dominus abstulit: sicut Domino placuit, ita factum est:
sit nomen Domini benedictum.

R. Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?
The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away: even as it hath pleased the Lord, so comes things to pass.
Blessed be the name of the Lord.
V. Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return there.
R. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away: even as it hath pleased the Lord, so comes things to pass. Blessed be the name of the Lord.
Contributor:Wim Goossens