Hyperion Records

Popule meus
composer
1585; 4vv + 4vv; Officium Hebdomadae Sanctae, published in Rome by Alessandro Gardane
author of text
from the Liturgy for Good Friday

Recordings
'Victoria: Missa Dum complerentur & other sacred music' (CDH55452)
Victoria: Missa Dum complerentur & other sacred music
MP3 £4.99FLAC £4.99ALAC £4.99Buy by post £5.50 CDH55452  Helios (Hyperion's budget label)  
Details
Track 9 on CDH55452 [4'59] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)

Popule meus
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Among the more striking and moving parts of the extensive Roman liturgy for Holy Week are the Improperia, or Reproaches. These come from the liturgy for Good Friday and are the words addressed by the crucified Saviour to his people. They are chanted by two choirs during the Veneration of the Cross and comprise twelve verses which contrast Divine compassion towards the chosen people with the sufferings inflicted on Christ during his Passion. In the full rite the first verse is preceded by the refrain Popule meus and each of the three verses is followed by the Trisagion (in Greek, ‘thrice holy’), a refrain chanted first in Greek and then in Latin, and the remaining nine by the refrain ‘Popule meus, quid feci tibi?’, etc. This rite has an ancient history, parts of it being traceable back to the seventh century. As part of his sumptuous volume of Holy Week music, the Officium Hebdomadae Sanctae published in Rome by Alessandro Gardane in 1585, Victoria provides a simple four-part setting of these two refrains in music of compelling beauty, which illustrates well his extraordinary capacity to create through simple homophony extremely moving music of great expressiveness. The choir performs here the first section of this extremely extended rite up to the second statement of the Trisagion refrain.

from notes by Jon Dixon © 1996

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