Christopher Gibbons (1615 – 1676): O Bone Jesu

Christopher Gibbons 180x225A Latin-texted motet is, as you might expect, quite unusual amongst Gibbons’ compositions1. It’s very beautifully and expressively written and with an very special sound-world. The soprano hovers more than an octave over the three lower voices the effect of which is heightened by sharpened interjections. I found it a very striking piece of music the first time I heard it, and one that stayed with me for a long time, making me wish that Gibbons had composed more in a similar vein. I re-listen to it regularly and hope that you’ll enjoy listening to it at least as much as I do.

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Christopher Gibbons (1615 – 1676): O Bone Jesu

O bone Jesu, O dulcissime Jesu, O piisime Jesu.O good Jesus, O most sweet Jesus, O most holy Jesus.
O Jesu fili Mariæ Virginis, O dulcis Jesu.O Jesus, son of the Virgin Mary, O weet Jesus.
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam, misere mei.Have mercy upon me according to thy great mercy.
O bone Jesu, O dulcissime Jesu.O good Jesus, O most sweet Jesus.

Performers:

Choir of the Academy of Ancient Music directed by Richard Egar. 
Alastair Ross – organist.
Charmian Bedford – soprano.  Jacqueline Connell – alto, Susanna Spicer – alto, Richard Latham – bass.
Notes:
  1. I have a brief biography of Christopher Gibbons here: Christopher Gibbons (1615 – 1676): Above the Stars my Saviour dwells | Saturday Chorale – mfi.

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