The motet Continuo lacrimas
was written neither for use in the Habsburg chapel nor in honour of any state occasion. Rather, it commemorates the premature and possibly violent death of the composer Jacobus Clemens non Papa
(c1510–1555/6). Clemens had been associated with the du Croÿ family, dukes of Aarschot and lieutenants of the Habsburgs in the Low Countries; Vaet also wrote a parody Mass on Clemens’s most famous motet, the seven-voice Ego flos campi
(see Hyperion CDA67733
). It is not known, however, whether the association between the composers had been a more personal one. Vaet’s elegiac work is set in six voices, with a cantus firmus intoning the melody Requiem aeternam, the introit at Masses for the dead. Around this long-note framework the other voices weave a varied polyphonic texture which seems to make reference to Clemens’s favoured melodic and harmonic gestures on several occasions, most obviously at the final cadence with its unprepared suspension and the passing motion immediately before the last chord.
from notes by Stephen Rice © 2007