Saturday, February 25, 2012

Josquin des Prez: Qui habitat

A double dip for Lent I. The tract for this day is Qui habitat, about which I posted a few years ago. I just now, though, came across this stunning des Prez setting of the text, and couldn't not post it; it's sublime:

From the YouTube page:
Josquin des Prez (c. 1450 to 1455 August 27, 1521), often referred to simply as Josquin, was a Franco-Flemish composer of the Renaissance. He is also known as Josquin Desprez, a French rendering of Dutch "Josken van de Velde", diminutive of "Joseph van de Velde" ("of the fields"), and Latinized as Josquinus Pratensis, alternatively Jodocus Pratensis. He was the most famous European composer between Guillaume Dufay and Palestrina, and is usually considered to be the central figure of the Franco-Flemish School. Josquin is widely considered by music scholars to be the first master of the high Renaissance style of polyphonic vocal music that was emerging during his life


"Qui habitat"
Original text and translations may be found at Psalm 91.. The text set by Josquin is the first eight verses of the Latin Vulgate (which is numbered as Psalm 90).

Latin text
Psalmus 90, 18 (Vulgate)

90:1 Qui habitat in adjutorio Altissimi, in protectione Dei cæli commorabitur. 2 Dicet Domino: Susceptor meus es tu et refugium meum; Deus meus, sperabo in eum. 3 Quoniam ipse liberavit me de laqueo venantium, et a verbo aspero. 4 Scapulis suis obumbrabit tibi, et sub pennis ejus sperabis. 5 Scuto circumdabit te veritas ejus: non timebis a timore nocturno; 6 a sagitta volante in die, a negotio perambulante in tenebris, ab incursu, et dæmonio meridiano. 7 Cadent a latere tuo mille, et decem millia a dextris tuis; ad te autem non appropinquabit. 8 Verumtamen oculis tuis considerabis et retributionem peccatorum videbis.

English translation
Psalm 91, 18 (King James Version)

91:1 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. 3 Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. 4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. 5 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; 6 Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. 7 A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. 8 Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.

Performed : Huelgas Ensemble
Dir : Paul Van Nevel

(Here's the chant version, from ReneGoupil:

Lent - First Sunday: Tract from Corpus Christi Watershed on Vimeo.


Here are the propers for for Lent I, from the Brazilian Benedictines:

Hebdomada prima quadragesimæ
Introitus: Ps. 90, 15.16 et 1 Invocabit me (cum Gloria Patri) (4m21.1s - 4083 kb) score
Graduale: Ps. 90, 11-12 Angelis suis (4m03.3s - 3805 kb) score
Tractus: Ps. 90, 1-7 et 11-16 Qui habitat (2m59.0s - 2801 kb) score
Offertorium: Ps. 90, 4-5 Scapulis suis (1m04.4s - 1011 kb) score
Communio: Ps. 90, 4-5 Scapulis suis (4m32.5s - 4261 kb) score

Here are posts on Chantblog about the propers for the First Sunday in Lent:


Luís Henriques said...

Beautiful music!
best wishes,
Luís Henriques

bls said...

Wow, yes!

Jayme said...

Thank you for the information about Qui Habitat by Josquin des Prez. I fell in love with this piece several years ago when I checked out the CD form the library. It sounds so heavenly to me, just like the music around the throne of God might sound. I had been wondering what the text meant. Now I know that it is taken from Psalm 91. Thank you so much!

bls said...

Thanks for your comment, Jayme - I agree that this piece is sublime.

You might be interested to know that all of the music for the First Sunday in Lent comes from the same Psalm 91! It's the only Sunday I know of when that is true.

Psalm 91 is one of the permanent Compline Psalms, too. It's got a very important place in the liturgy.


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