Early music ensemble Voice of Music performs Alessandro Grandi’s Venetian Christmas Vespers, Confitebor
The Christmas Vespers Psalm 110, Confitebor tibi Domine, by Alessandro Grandi. High Definition video from the Venetian Christmas Vespers Concert, December, 2013, performed on original instruments by the Early Music ensemble Voices of Music. Featuring (Left to Right) Laura Heimes and Jennifer Ellis Kampani, sopranos; John Taylor Ward, baritone; Carla Moore and Elizabeth Blumenstock, baroque violins; William Skeen, viola da gamba; David Tayler, archlute and Hanneke van Proosdij, baroque organ.
Scored for three voices and continuo, Grandi’s Vespers psalms of 1630 present a unique way of declaming text: each section is framed with an individual rhythmic and harmonic profile, and the three singers combine for solos, duos and trios, using rhythmic shapes that allow the text to be clearly heard at all times; at the same time, the rhythm is set in a way that allows each singer to flex the word groups according to the internal accent, meter and syllable length of the psalms. In his setting of the Psalm texts, Grandi provides a refined intellectual splendor: the words of the psalms are elevated above ostentation into a world of pure rhetoric.
Alessandro Grandi (1586 – after June 1630, but in that year) was a northern Italian composer of the early Baroque era, writing in the new concertato style. He was one of the most inventive, influential and popular composers of the time, probably second only to Monteverdi in northern Italy.
In the last year of his life, 1630, Alessandro Grandi published his Messa, e salmi concertati, a tre voci, which provides music for the mass as well a complete set of psalms for the first Christmas day Vespers service. The music reveals the composer’s confident and mature style; the counterpoint is finely wrought, and Grandi uses ornamentation and chromaticism for effect rather than for display. Grandi worked together with Monteverdi in St. Mark’s from 1617 to 1627, but he has his own individual style, and was one of the most influential and important composers of the early 17th century. In addition to the psalms, our reconstruction of the Vespers will feature virtuoso vocal and instrumental music by Monteverdi, Marini, Buonamente and Uccellini, all printed in Venice.
Confitebor tibi Domine, In toto corde meo;
In consilio justorum, Et congregatione.
Magna opera Domini, Exquisita in omnes voluntates ejus.
Confessio et magnificentia opus ejus;
Et justitia ejus manet In saeculum saeculi.
Memoriam fecit mirabilium suorum,
Misericors et miserator Dominus.
Escam dedit timentibus se.
Memor erit in saeculum Testamenti sui.
Virtutem operum suorum Annuntiabit populo suo.
Ut det illis Hereditatem gentium;
Opera manuum ejus Veritas et judicium.
Fidelia omnia mandata ejus,
Confirmata in saeculum saeculi,
Facta in veritate et aequitate.
Redemptionem misit Dominus Populo suo;
Mandavit in aeternum testamentum suum.
Sanctum et terribile nomen ejus:
Initium sapientiae timor Domini;
Intellectus bonus omnibus Facientibus eum.
Laudatio ejus manet In saeculum saeculi.
Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto. Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.
I acknowledge you, O Lord, With my whole heart;
In the council of the just, And in the congregation.
Great are the works of the Lord, Chosen by all His desires.
I acknowledge as well the magnificence of His deeds;
And His justice endures From generation to generation.
He has made memorials of His miracles,
A merciful and compassionate Lord.
He gives food to those that fear Him.
He will remember forever His covenant.
The power of His works Will be announced to His people.
So that He may give them The inheritance of the nations;
The works of His hands Are truth and justice.
All His commandments are faithful,
Confirmed from generation to generation,
Made in truth and fairness.
The Lord has sent salvation To His people;
He has given His covenant for eternity.
Holy and awesome is His name;
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
All who practice it Have a good understanding.
His praise endures From generation to generation.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and
to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, without end. Amen.ginning, is now, and ever shall be, without end. Amen.