Vulpius : Surrexit pastor bonus : Full score
Composer: Melchior Vulpius (c.1570 - 1615)
From Cantionum sacrarum (part one), Jena, 1602. The division of one polyglot choir into two monoglot choirs is editorial; the ranking of the voices is as specified by Vulpius, enabling a single choir performance if required.
Vulpius has gone beyond the not unusual German practice of macaronic word-setting, in which phrases from both Latin and the vernacular are employed in alternating statements, to the far rarer inextricable interlarding of Latin and German text (in this case, verses from three chorales). His implied realisation is to treat all voices with equal weight, primus inter pares. But this seems unsatisfactory, rendering the text liturgically incomprehensible. In performance therefore one should decide either to offer the Latin to the fore, with a subliminal commentary in the demotic argot, or alternatively to present a German offering served on a warm bed of Latin verbiage.
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