Derrick Gerarde (fl c1540–80): Sive vigilem

Gerarde was a Flemish composer who moved to England where he worked for first Henry Fitzalan, Earl of Arundel, and then his son-in-law Lord Lumley very little is known of his life and anything you read about him is at best  speculative and at worst downright misleading. Most of his surviving music is found in four part-books (there were originally six) that were owned either by Arundel or Lumley, and in 1596 formed part of the celebrated Nonsuch Palace library. Other than these partbooks only two other works known to be by Gerarde is known the six-voice setting of Sive Vigilem that you can hear below the source of which is the partbooks copied by John Baldwin sometime around 1580.1 It’s an expansive piece with a marvellous musical depiction of the angel sounding the last trumpet at ‘sonum tubæ’ (the sound of the trumpet). Enjoy :-).


Derrick Gerarde (fl c1540–80): Sive vigilem

Sive vigilem, sive dormiam, sive edam aut bibam,semper videor mihi audire sonum tubae
et vocem angeli clamantis
et dicentis:Surgite mortui, et venite ad judicium.
Vigilemus et oremus, quia nescimus diem
neque horam quando Dominus veniet.
Whether I am awake or asleep, whether I eat or drink,always I seem to hear the sound of the trumpet and the voice of an angel calling out and saying: Arise, ye dead, and come to be judged.
Let us keep watch and pray, for we do not know
the day or the hour when the Lord will come.

Performers: Contrapunctus conducted by Owen Rees


  1. The untexted piece Chera la fontayne is Gerarde’s by attribution only – mfi.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *