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He received his naturalization papers and married the daughter of Michel Lambert, master of music of the King's Chamber. What then, during the winter of , inspired this theatrically inclined man of action to write a Miserere for the Chapel Royal, a full motet for soloists, choir and orchestra, when such a task was not part of his duties? The mystery remains unsolved. The work was probably the first example of a style which enjoyed popular esteem until the Revolution. It is as though Lully, versatile creator of so many new musical forms, sought here also to make his mark and point the way towards new architectural possibilities.
German cantatas, Italian psalms and English anthems were all inspired by Lully's great design. The religious context in which Lully wrote this first motet was quite particular. The issue of the "liberties of the Gallican church" i. The debate on the question led to a parliamentary declaration in whose six articles are the precursors of the famous "four articles" of which marked the French bishops' allegiance to the King. More than any other work Lully's Miserere, performed before the entire Court, seems to stand as a manifesto for what was expected of a composer at the Chapel Royal: an utterly new form, an innovative design, fit for the King.
The work, whose text is drawn from Psalm 51, one of the penitential psalms, was first performed in late Its double chorus effects owe much to the composers of the first half of the seventeenth century: the soloists are part of a "small chorus" which is set against the "full chorus".
During choral passages, the soloists systematically double the equivalent voices. Treated this way, the full motet resembles a continuous chorus interspersed with more muted passages, or an organ piece in which subtle stops on the positive provide a contrast with the full organ. Textual expression is given light and shade in a harmonious architectural construct.
Listen to Lully's counterpoint, the lines of the strings in the symphony, the low-register thirds. The music sings and the violins, shattering the full harmony on the occasion of a cadence, break into a toccata motif that echoes the composer's Italian past. Observe Lully's mastery of colour. Listen to how choral and orchestral textures, now in five, now in ten parts, change with the rhythm of the text; note how subtle touches of orchestral colour highlight the meaning of a verb or the sweetness of a modulation.
The sublime text of the psalm inspires Lully to paint a whole sweep of emotions, at once melancholy, plaintive, sweet, tragic, suffering, noble and victorious. It was the time when there were hopes for uniting the Churches, the period when Bossuet made contact again with Pasteur Fleury, hoping to "advance as far as possible a reconciliation with the Protestants". The Te Deum is Lully's best-known sacred work, first performed at Fontainebleau on 9th September, It was while directing musicians in another performance of the piece on 8th January, that Lully inflicted on himself the wound which, turning gangrenous, was to prove fatal.
The origins of the Te Deum were quite different to those of the other works on this recording. Lully was at the pinnacle of his career, the immensely successful composer of lyric tragedies like Atys and Isis.
The Te Deum calls for high pomp and considerable resources. Contemporary reports speak of the large forces as many as musicians, including chorus, orchestra, trumpets and drums assembled to perform the work, even at the beginning of the eighteenth century.
The success of the Te Deum is almost unique in the history of seventeenth century sacred music. Te Deum laudamus. Te Dominum confitemur. Omnis terra veneratur. Tibi omnes angeli,. Tibi cherubim et seraphim,.
Sanctus, sanctus Dominus Deus Sabbaoth. Te gloriosus Apostolorum chorus,. Te Prophetarum laudabilis numerus,. Te Martirum candidatus laudat exercitus. Te per orbem terrarum. Sancta confitetur Ecclesia. We praise thee, O God,. All the earth doth worship thee,. To thee all Angels cry aloud,. To thee Cherubin and Seraphin,.
Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Sabaoth;. Heaven and earth are full. The glorious company of the Apostles praise thee. The goodly fellowship of the Prophets praise thee. The noble army of Martyrs praise thee. The holy Church throughout all the world. Venerandum tuum verum. Sanctum quoque Paraclitum Spiritum. Tu Patris. Tu ad liberandum suscepturus hominem. Tu devicto mortis aculeo,. The Father of an infinite Majesty;. Thine honourable, true. Also the Holy Ghost: the Comforter.
Thou art the King of Glory. Thou art the everlasting Son. When thou tookest upon thee to deliver man,. When thou hadst overcome the sharpness of death,. Tu ad dexteram Dei sedes,. Judex crederis. In gloria numerari. Thou sittest at the right hand of God.
We believe that thou shalt come. We therefore pray thee, help thy servants. Make them to be numbered with thy Saints. Salvum fac populum tuum Domine.
Et rege eos,. Per singulos dies, benedicimus Te,. Et laudamus nomen tuum. O Lord, save thy people. Day by day we magnify thee. And we worship thy name. Dignare, Domine, die isto. Miserere nostri, Domine,. Fiat misericordia tua, Domine super nos. O Lord, have mercy upon us. O Lord, let they mercy lighten upon us:. In Te, Domine, speravi,. O Lord, in thee have I trusted.
Miserere mei, Deus,. Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum,. O God, after thy great goodness. And my sin is ever before me. Ut justificeris in sermonibus tuis,. Ecce enim veritatem dilexisti:. That thou mightest be justified in thy saying,. But lo, thou requirest truth in the inward parts. Averte faciem tuam a peccatis meis:. Turn thy face from my sins.
Docebo iniquos vias tuas:. Quoniam si voluisses sacrificium,. Then shall I teach they ways unto the wicked. For thou desirest no sacrifice. Benigne fac, Domine, in bona voluntate tua Sion:. Tunc acceptabis sacrificium justitiae,. O be favourable and gracious unto Sion.
However, delays in postal and courier services mean that deliveries are currently taking longer than usual. This page lists all recordings of Miserere by Jean-Baptiste Lully This release includes a digital booklet. Showing 1 - 6 of 6 results.
Miserere, LWV 25 (Lully, Jean-Baptiste)
He is considered a master of the French Baroque style. Lully disavowed any Italian influence in French music of the period. He became a French subject in He used to say that a Franciscan friar gave him his first music lessons and taught him guitar. In , dressed as Harlequin during Mardi Gras and amusing bystanders with his clowning and his violin, the boy attracted the attention of Roger de Lorraine, chevalier de Guise, son of Charles, Duke of Guise , who was returning to France and was looking for someone to converse in Italian with his niece, Mademoiselle de Montpensier la Grande Mademoiselle. The teenager's talents as a guitarist, violinist, and dancer quickly won him the nicknames "Baptiste", and " le grand baladin " great street-artist.