Josquin’s setting of St. Bonaventure’s hymn is a beautifully precise and spare piece of music for four voices (SATB) arranged as a dialogue. Josquin composed it seperately and it can be performed either seperately as here or as part of a larger motet (Qui velatus) . Bonaventure’s text is typically medieval with one of those twists so beloved of medieval intellectuals – the last line of each verse is the first line of a hymn from the breviary.
Josquin Des Prez (±1450 1521): Christum ducem, qui per crucem
|Christum ducem, qui per crucem |
Nos redemit ab hostibus
Laudet cantus noster laetus,
Exultet caelum laudibus.
|Let our joyful song praise Christ |
our leader, who by the cross
has saved us from our enemies;
let heaven ring with his praises.
|Poena fortis tuae mortis, |
Et sanguinis effusio,
Corda terant ut te quaerant,
Jesu nostra redemptio.
|May the grievous torment of thy death |
and the shedding of thy blood
bruise our hearts, that they may seek thee,
Jesus our salvation.
|O felices, cicatrices, |
Sputa, flagella, verbera,
Nobis grata sunt collata
Aeterna Christi munera.
|May the blessed wounds, |
spitting, blows and scourging
procure for us
the eternal gifts of Christ.
|Nostrum tangat cor ne plangat |
Tuorum sanguis vulnerum,
In quo toti sumus loti,
Conditor alme siderum.
|May the blood of thy wounds touch our hearts |
that they may not sorrow,
the blood in which we are all washed.
O bountiful creator of the stars.
|Passionis tuae donis |
Salvator nos inebria,
Qua fidelis dare velis
Beata nobis gaudia.
|Saturate us, O Saviour, |
with the gifts of thy passion,
by which means thou, O faithful one,
dost deign to give us blessed joys.
Text:Saint Bonaventure, born Giovanni di Fidanza (1221-1274)
- Rachid Safir; Bernard Dehont; Philippe Balloy; Regis Oudot; Gael de Kerret; Bernard Fabre-Garrus; A Sei Voci