The form of the Vesper Psalm is in some ways less glamorous than for instance double-choir motets, but certainly more central to the lives of sixteenth-century church-goers. Confitebor tibi, Domine
was one of the most frequently chanted Psalms, which would have been known by heart to the musicians: Phinot’s setting to the third tone follows the plainsong closely in the top voice of the polyphonic verses. A notably harmonic twist is the beginning of verse 9 (‘Sanctum et terribile nomen eius’), where an explicitly indicated flat in the bass part causes the music to move suddenly into uncharted territory: unlike in Pater peccavi
, however, it quickly reverts to the chant reciting note.
from notes by Roger Jacob & Stephen Rice © 2009