Josquin Des Prez (±1450 – 1521): Domine Exaudi Orationem Meam

The contrast between Josquin’s setting of Domine Exaudi and Qui habitat about which I wrote yesterday or his setting of the Stabat Mater about which I wrote 5 days ago on October 23, 2016 could not be greater. The four-part (SATB) texture is severe, plain, and sparse and Josquin thins this already rigorous musical model yet further by  treating the text as a set of extended 2-part canons that only occasionally come together in what is remarkably compact polyphonic music. It reminds me quite strongly of his Missa Pange Lingua about which I wrote on May 31 2015 like that Mass it’s in the Phrygian mode and like that Mass Josquin’s music is an intense word-tone relationship with the text. Sparse, stark, spare, but oh how very very beautiful. Enjoy :-).


Josquin Des Prez (±1450 – 1521): Domine Exaudi Orationem Meam

Text & Translation: Domine Exaudi Orationem Meam

Prima Pars

Domine, exaudi orationem meam
Auribus percipe verba oris mei
exaudi me in tua iustitia.
Et non intres in iudicium cum servo tuo
Quia non iustificabitur in conspectu
tuo omnis vivens;
quia persecutus est inimicus animam meam
humiliavit in terra vitam meam
collocavit me in obscuris
sicut mortuos saeculi;
et anxiatus est super me spiritus meus
in me turbatum est cor meum.


Hear my prayer, o Lord,
give ear to my supplications!
In thy faithfulness answer me,
in thy righteousness!
Enter not into judgment with thy servant,
for no man living is righteous before thee.
For the enemy has pursued me,
he has crushed my life to the ground,
he has made me sit in the darkness
like those long dead.
Therefore my spirit faints within me,
my heart within me is appalled.

Secunda pars

Memor fui dierum antiquorum
meditatus sum in omnibus operibus tuis
et in factis manuum tuarum meditabar.
Expandi manus meas ad te;
Anima mea sicut terra sine aqua tibi.
Velociter exaudi me Domine
quia defecit spiritus meus;
non avertas faciem tuam a me
et similis ero descendentibus in lacum.
Auditam fac mihi mane misericordiam tuam
quia in te speravi;
notam fac mihi viam in qua ambulem
quia ad te levavi animam meam.
Eripe me de inimicis meis Domine at te confugi.
Doce me facere voluntatem tuam
Quia Deus meus es tu.


I remember the days of old,
I meditate on all that thou hast done,
I muse on what thy hands have wrought.
I stretch out my hands to thee,
my soul thirsts for thee like a parched land.
Make haste to answer me, o Lord, my spirit falls.
Hide not thy face from me,
lest I be like those who go down to the Pit.
Let me hear in the morning of thy steadfast love,
for in thee I put my trust.
Teach me the way I should go,
for to thee I lift up my soul.
Deliver me, o Lord, from my enemies!
I have fled to thee for refuge!
Teach me to do thy will,
for thou art my God!

Tertia pars

Spiritus tuus bonus deducet me
in terram rectam.
Propter nomen tuum Domine
Vivificabis me in aequitate tua
Educes de tribulatione animam meam
Et in misericordia tua disperde inimicos meos
et perdes omnes qui tribulant animam meam;
quoniam ego servus tuus sum.


Let thy good spirit lead me
on a level path!
For thy name’s sake, o Lord,
preserve my life!
In thy righteousness bring me out of trouble!
And in thy steadfast love cut off my enemies,
and destroy all my adversaries,
for I am thy servant.


Dufay Ensemble conducted by Eckehard Kiem

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