De Wert was a Fleming who worked in Northern Italy for most of his life. 1 He had a very considerable influence both during his lifetime and for many generations after his death not least because of his strong influence on Claudio Monteverdi studied under him. He was a renowned madrigalist and his approach to the madrigalian form shows a very inventive and original use of rhythm.
Providebam Dominum (I foresaw the Lord) is his setting of Acts 2:25-28 it’s somewhat unusual amongst his motets because he uses two techniques to represent joy and rejoicing there’s a fairly straightforward and conventional triple time passage at "propter hoc lætátum est cor meum, et exsultávit lingua mea" (For this my heart hath been glad, and any tongue hath rejoiced) and then towards the end when we get to "replébis me iucunditáte" ( thou shalt make me full of joy) he uses what is almost his signature technique of employing rapidly shifting madrigalian style singing a crossing over from secular to sacred music which must have greatly shocked his contemporaries hearing it for the first time. It must have caused consternation amongst those required to sing it for the first time too. Happily for us the singers of Collegium Regale under Stephen Cleobury are more than equal to the challenge. Enjoy :-)
Giaches de Wert (1535-96): Providebam Dominum (Acts 2:25-28)
Providébam Dóminum in conspéctu meo semper:
I foresaw the Lord always before my face:
Performers: Collegium Regale conducted by Stephen Cleobury
- You’ll find more details of his life in my posting introducing him which you can find here: Giaches de Wert (1535-96): Gaudete in Domino | Saturday Chorale – mfi. ↩