Sunday, 7 October 2012

Alonso de Tejeda: Lamentabatur Jacob

Lamentabatur Jacob (SSAATB) is a setting of the text also employed by Morales or Marenzio. There is a clear symbolism in this motet: the descending tetrachord that appears as a symbol of lament (on the word Lamentabatur), linked to the sadness of Jacob due to the loss of his two sons, Joseph and Benjamin.

common word painting theme found here is the depiction of falling tears (e.g. the Lachrimae by John Dowland). We can observe it in this motet on the word lacrimis (tears):

Another symbolic topic is located at the end of the motet depicting the two sons of Jacob. There are rests in the two lower voices (Tenor and Bassus), and these voices enter at the same time just in the three last measures, standing for the last words faciat eos cernere (I pray to the King of Heaven that in my great grief I may see them again). As a result of this, the lower voices may depict the two sons, Joseph and Benjamin.

Lamentabatur Jacob de duobus filiis suis:
heu, dolens sum de Joseph perdito.
Tristis nimis de Benjamin ducto pro alimoniis,
prosternens se Jacob vehementer cum lacrimis pronus et terram.
Et adorans ait: precor caelestem regem,
ut me dolentem nimium,
faciat eos cernere.

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