|Chiara Margarita Cozzolani|
|Beatus vir qui timet Dominum à 8||SATB, SATB/Bc||or||SAAA, SAAA/Bc|
Price: €17 or $17USD
listen to Beatus vir qui timet Dominum à 8
[from Tactus 600301]
Chiara Margarita Cozzolani (1602 - c.1677) was active in one of the most celebrated ensembles of women musicians in early modern Italy: that of the Benedictine nuns of the convent of Santa Radegonda, located across the street from Milan Cathedral. Born in Milan to a well-off family, Cozzolani professed her vows at the monastery in 1620, and later served several times as prioress and abbess. She published four editions of sacred works between 1640 and 1650, though unfortunately not all of them are extant. The music presented here is taken from her largest collection: Salmi a otto voci concertati [...] motetti, et dialoghi a Due, Tre, Quattro, e Cinque voci, (Venice, 1650).
Cozzolani’s Vespers Psalms: Cozzolani’s collection contains a complete set of Vespers psalms for the major feasts of the year according to Benedictine use, which differs from non-monastic rite primarily in the reduced number of psalms: four instead of the more familiar five. This collection is an impressive one. In addition to the six Vespers psalms (Laudate pueri appears in two different scorings), the respond and two Magnificats (all written for eight voices except the second Laudate pueri), there are also nine non-liturgical motets for 1-5 voices. For this series of editions, we have chosen to offer those psalms which would have been sung as part of the liturgy for a feast of special importance, both for nuns’ own piety and for urban devotion as a whole: First Vespers for Christmas, performed in the late afternoon of Christmas Eve. The set pieces for a Christmas Vespers, which would be considered male sanctoral, are:
- Versus/Responsus: Deus in adjutorium/Domine ad adiuvandum
- Psalm: Dixit Dominus
- Psalm: Confitebor tibi Domine
- Psalm: Beatus vir
- Psalm: Laudate pueri
The most obvious feature of the psalm settings is the concertato writing in all the voices, with tutti sections balanced by florid solos, duets, and an occasional bassetto ensemble of three or four high voices.
All of Cozzolani’s Vespers Psalms require 8 solo voices: SATB/SATB. In our version of Beatus vir for convent use (female voices only) the bass parts have been transposed up an octave. The tenor parts lie low for female voices, but not impossibly so. The solo voices are all quite florid and thus technically demanding. Choral ripieno voices could be added as well in tutti sections. In addition, basso continuo instruments will be needed. In the case of the convent version, these will include melodic bass instruments (viola da gamba, violoncello, trombone, dulcian, etc.) to double the bass line of each choir at the lower octave.