Pedersøn was the most important Danish composer before Buxtehude he was one of four musicians sent by the Danish king to Giovanni Gabrieli in Venice in 1599 on his return he was given a post in the Danish Chapel Royal. Plainly he was an exceptionally talented musician because in the spring of 1605 he was given leave to travel ‘wherever he can advance himself in his art and learning’, and, provided with both funds and a personal recommendation in Italian from Christian IV to Gabrieli. He decided to return to Venice remaining there for four years publishing a book of madrigals which he dedicated to Christian IV to show what he had learnt. He wound up as assistant director of the Chapel Royal and was granted a vicariate in Roskilde. His madrigals are well worth listening to if you can track them down but it’s his religious music that I want to focus on for this posting.
In 1620 he published a collection of church music the Pratum Spirituale, det er Messer, Salmer, Motteter, som brugelig ere udi Danmark og Norge, komponerede med 5 Stemmer aff Kong a collection of religious music setting in Danish five-part polyphonic versions of some of the liturgical melodies used in the post-Reformation Danish church in Denmark in the 1569 Salmebog by Hans Thomissøn and Niels Jespersen’s Graduale of 1573. The Pratum Spirituale was dedicated to the Crown Prince whom Pedersøn apparently taught and had the entirely practical object of providing largely homophonic settings of religious music that could be sung not only by choristers but also by the congregation. The collection as a whole was arranged by season and taken together they’re not only a collection of very fine early northern baroque music but they also show Pedersøn as a highly talented composer who far from merely imitating what he’d learnt in Venice was well capable of striking out on his own in new and interesting directions. His hymn Nu bede vi den Helligånd (We now implore the Holy Ghost) is performed below by the Danish choir Vocal Group Ars Nova under Bo Holten – a translation to English is included in the video. Enjoy :-).
Video Souce: Pedersøn | Nu bede vi den Helligånd [á 5; Vocal Group Ars Nova; Bo Holten] – YouTube. Published on May 18, 2016 by Andrea Scalia [Renaissance Music Project].