Nicolas Gombert (±1495-±1560): In te, Domine, speravi

I wonder whether Gombert set the first six verses of Psalm 30 in the Vulgate as part of his atonement for raping a choirboy or whether he set it as part of his duties once he’d received his pardon either way it’s a stunning piece of music. The text is penitential and was sung at the close of Compline. It consists entirely of very tightly woven imitation, there’s no musical rhetoric, you won’t hear any declamation, what there is is momentum. It’s a very vigorous piece of music set by a composer who knew exactly where he wanted the music to go, how to get there, and how to ensure that there wasn’t even the slightest obstruction. It’s formidable rather than enjoyable and I find myself admiring its technique more than anything else it ends on a note of optimism and serenity – In manus tuas, Domine, commendo spiritum meum: redemisti me, Domine Deus veritatis (Into your hands, Lord, I entrust my spirit: you have redeemed me, Lord God of truth).

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Nicolas Gombert (±1495-±1560): In te, Domine, speravi

In te, Domine, speravi,
non confundar in aeternum:
in justitia tua libera me.
Inclina Domine aurem tuam:
accelera ut eruas me.
Esto mihi in Deum protectorem:
et in domum refugii, ut salvum me facias.
Quoniam fortitudo mea et refugium meum es tu:
et propter nomen tuum deduces me et enutries me.
Educes me de laqueo quem absconderunt mihi:
quoniam tu es protector meus.
In manus tuas, Domine, commendo spiritum meum:
redemisti me, Domine Deus veritatis.

Psalm 30 Vulgate VV 1– 6

In you, Lord, have I put my trust,
let me never be left in confusion:
in your justice set me free.
Lord, turn your ear to my prayer:
make haste to rescue me.
Be for me a God who protects
and a house of refuge, where you may keep me safe.
For you are my strength and my refuge:
and for your name’s sake will guide and nurture me.
You will draw me out from the snare they have set for me: for you are my protector.
Into your hands, Lord, I entrust my spirit:
you have redeemed me, Lord God of truth.

Performers: Magnificat conducted by Philip Cave

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