Vivanco was maestro at Ávila in 1598; later he occupied the twin positions of university professor and maestro at Salamanca. We cannot determine when he wrote Versa est in luctum
. It survives in a manuscript copied long after his time and may have been among the pages now missing from the damaged copies that survive of his motet book, printed in 1610. His vocal scoring is exactly the same as that used by Lobo and Victoria for their settings of the same words. This text is one re-arranged from the Book of Job into a liturgical responsorium. Peñalosa (around 1500) had composed music for the full responsory and its verse. A century later Lobo, Victoria and Vivanco used just the responsory without the verse, clearly as a motet for para-liturgical or extra-liturgical use. During the seventeenth century, Spanish, Portuguese and New World composers set these emotive words. José de Torres published a succinct and punchy version in 1703.
from notes by Bruno Turner ę 1998