Orlande de Lassus (±1530-1594): Ecce nunc benedicite Dominum

Orlande de Lassus 180x200 De Lassus’ seven-part setting of Ecce nunc benedicite Dominum (Psalm 134 Behold now, praise the Lord) sung below by the Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge, conducted by  Andrew Nethsingha accompanied by His Majestys Sagbutts & Cornetts is notable for its rich textures. De Lassus exploited to the full the opportunity to devise vocal combinations without ever resorting to bi-choral cliché. I like how all seven voices make their first combined entry at ‘omnes’ (all) in ‘Omnes servi domini‘ and the musical contrast he draws between ‘benedicite‘ where it’s the populace giving praise and asking to be blessed and ‘benedicat‘ where it’s the Lord doing the blessing. Enjoy :-).


Text & Translation: Ecce nunc benedicite Dominum


Ecce nunc benedicite Dominum
Ecce nunc benedicite Dominum,
omnes servi Domini.
Qui statis in domo Domini,
in atriis domus Dei nostri.
In noctibus extollite manus vestras in sancta,
et benedicite Dominum.
Benedicat te Dominus ex Sion,
qui fecit caelum et terram.

Psalm 134

Behold now, praise the Lord
Behold now, praise the Lord
all ye servants of the Lord.
Ye that by night stand in the house of the Lord
even in the courts of the house of our God.
Lift up thy hands in the sanctuary
and praise the Lord.
The Lord that made heaven and earth
give thee blessing out of Sion.

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