The story of the raising of Lazarus is told in Vaet’s setting of Videns Dominus
, a popular text in the mid-sixteenth century, with parallel settings by Willaert and Clemens, among others. The text is taken from Chapter 11 of St John’s Gospel. Vaet’s motet is unusual in beginning with all five voices entering almost immediately, rather than developing an imitative point as was more usual: in this, as in other respects, Vaet’s affinity with the directly rhetorical style of Orlandus Lassus is apparent. As in Ascendetis post filium
, the emotional high point of the piece is reached at the end of its first section, where Jesus weeps before the assembled mourners, and calls forth Lazarus: the latter phrase is set to simultaneous rising and falling scales, giving an aural impression of the opening of the tomb.
from notes by Stephen Rice © 2007