A 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.
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.|
- 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.
- I have a brief biography of Christopher Gibbons here: Christopher Gibbons (1615 – 1676): Above the Stars my Saviour dwells | Saturday Chorale – mfi. ↩