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Jacobus Vaet, Vol. 2: Te Deum Laudamus / Dufay Ensemble

Vaet / Kiem / Dufay Ensemble
Release Date: 06/29/2010 
Label:  Ars Musici   Catalog #: 232392   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Jacobus Vaet
Conductor:  Eckehard Kiem
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dufay Ensemble
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 57 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

VAET Filiae Jerusalem. A solis ortus cardine. Iste est Joannes. Ave Maris Stella. O quam gloriosum. Continuo lacrimas. Missa pro defunctis Eckehard Kiem, cond; Dufay Ensemble ARS MUSICI 232354 (53:24 & , no English translation)

VAET Te Deum. Quoties diem. Ut queant taxis. In tenebris. Read more Magnificat secundi toni. Missa quodlibetica Eckehard Kiem, cond; Dufay Ensemble ARS MUSICI 232392 (57:48 & , no English translation)

Recordings of works by Jacobus Vaet (1529–67) are few, a lamentable result of an abbreviated lifespan with few publications, followed by rapid obscurity. These two CDs, originally issued in 2002 and 2004, were part of a three-disc Vaet series; J. F. Weber reviewed the third CD in Fanfare 30:3 in explicit anticipation of receiving the others at that time (an expectation that was not fulfilled), and subsequently also reviewed in 30:6 and 32:6 two Hyperion CDs with Vaet’s music performed by the Cinquecento Ensemble. As he thoroughly covers the biographical and discographical details in those reviews, I will not repeat them here.

Despite living for only 38 years, Vaet was held in high regard by contemporaries and produced an impressive body of works: 10 masses, 71 motets, 11 hymns, eight Magnificat settings (one in each of the eight modes), and three chansons, filling seven volumes in a modern edition prepared by Milton Steinhardt, author of the only modern study of Vaet. Most of the motets and hymns recorded here are cast for five or six voices, though sections within them feature only three or four parts. Each disc features one hymn ( A solis ortus cardine and Ut queant taxis, respectively). Of the longer works, the Te Deum is written for eight voices, and the two masses for five voices each. The Requiem and all the pieces on the second CD are advertised as being premiere recordings, an assertion that appears to be correct. As only the first, fifth, and sixth selections from the first CD here are duplicated on the two Hyperion issues, any purchase of a CD of Vaet’s music will not overlap much, if at all, with procurement of any other.

I will focus here upon the three major works. The Requiem is somewhat unusual in structure; it omits the customary Dies irae sequence hymn, but includes the non-customary tract Sicut cervus desiderat (Psalm 42:1–3) after the Kyrie and concluding antiphon Ne recorderis (“Think not upon my sins, O Lord”). The opening Introit, the two outer sections of the Kyrie, and the first two sections of the concluding antiphon all use material from the motet Filiae Jerusalem , an homage motet composed for Vaet’s employer, Habsburg Emperor Maximilian II. The Te Deum is composed for a double choir; there is an unresolved debate regarding whether its structure demonstrates an incipient Venetian influence on the work of this Belgian-born, German-employed composer. The Missa Quodlibetica , mostly written in a highly contrapuntal style, is thought to be one of Vaet’s earliest masses and to date from about 1555; since Vaet’s other masses are all parody masses, this is presumed to be one as well, though a model for it still has not been identified.

Weber’s praise for the Dufay Ensemble in his review of its other Vaet CD also applies to these two releases. With one alto, four tenors, one baritone, and two basses, the Freiburg-based male octet has a darker and denser sound than that of the more familiar English early-music ensembles, a distinction that grows more and more appealing upon repeated hearings. The recorded sound is close and resonant, but without obscuring any of the polyphonic textures. While the detailed and informative booklet notes are provided in English and German, the musical texts are given only in Latin and German. Fortunately, it is not difficult to find an English translation of most of the motets on the Internet by using their opening Latin tags, and of course the ordinary Mass and Requiem texts are well known and readily available from many sources. These discs are highly recommended to all lovers of Renaissance sacred polyphony.

FANFARE: James A. Altena
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Works on This Recording

Te Deum by Jacobus Vaet
Conductor:  Eckehard Kiem
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dufay Ensemble
Venue:  Ev. Kirche Wolfenweiler i.Br. 
Length: 8 Minutes 36 Secs. 
Quoties diem, motet by Jacobus Vaet
Conductor:  Eckehard Kiem
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dufay Ensemble
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  Ev. Kirche Wolfenweiler i.Br. 
Length: 4 Minutes 9 Secs. 
Ut queant laxis, motet by Jacobus Vaet
Conductor:  Eckehard Kiem
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dufay Ensemble
Venue:  Ev. Kirche Wolfenweiler i.Br. 
Length: 5 Minutes 36 Secs. 
In tenebris, motet by Jacobus Vaet
Conductor:  Eckehard Kiem
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dufay Ensemble
Venue:  Ev. Kirche Wolfenweiler i.Br. 
Length: 3 Minutes 17 Secs. 
Magnificat secundi toni by Jacobus Vaet
Conductor:  Eckehard Kiem
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dufay Ensemble
Venue:  Ev. Kirche Wolfenweiler i.Br. 
Length: 7 Minutes 55 Secs. 
Missa quodlibetica by Jacobus Vaet
Conductor:  Eckehard Kiem
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dufay Ensemble
Venue:  Ev. Kirche Wolfenweiler i.Br. 
Length: 24 Minutes 36 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Te Deum: Part I
Te Deum: Part II
Te Deum: Part III
Quoties Diem
Ut queant laxis
Ut queant laxis: Ille promissi - Ventris obstruso
In tenebris
Magnificat secundi toni: Magnificat - Et exultavit
Magnificat secundi toni: Quia respexit - Quia fecit
Magnificat secundi toni: Et misericordia - Fecit potentiam
Magnificat secundi toni: Deposuit potentes - Esurientes
Magnificat secundi toni: Suscepit Israel - Sicut Iocutus
Magnificat secundi toni: Gloria Patri - Sicut erat
Missa quodlibetica: Kyrie I
Missa quodlibetica: Christe
Missa quodlibetica: Kyrie II
Missa quodlibetica: Gloria
Missa quodlibetica: Qui tollis
Missa quodlibetica: Credo
Missa quodlibetica: Crucifixus
Missa quodlibetica: Et in Spiritum
Missa quodlibetica: Sanctus
Missa quodlibetica: Pleni sunt coeli
Missa quodlibetica: Hosanna I
Missa quodlibetica: Benedictus
Missa quodlibetica: Hosanna II
Missa quodlibetica: Agnus Dei

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