Sustinuimus pacem (Pierre de Manchicourt)

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  • (Posted 2020-10-14)  CPDL #60887:     
Editor: Andrew Fysh (submitted 2020-10-14).   Score information: A4, 15 pages, 447 kB   Copyright: CC BY SA
Edition notes: At original notated pitch (for SAATTB, SATTTB or STTTTB), otherwise identical to CPDL #55626 below. Revised edition uploaded 20 November 2022.
  • (Posted 2019-10-16)  CPDL #55626:     
Editor: Andrew Fysh (submitted 2019-10-16).   Score information: A4, 15 pages, 445 kB   Copyright: CC BY SA
Edition notes: Transposed one tone higher (for SAATTB). Original note values retained. Transcribed and edited from all three sources listed below. Revised edition uploaded 20 November 2022.

General Information

Title: Sustinuimus pacem (2.p. Nos alium deum nescimus)
Composer: Pierre de Manchicourt
Source of text: adapted from Jeremiah 14:19–20, Judith 8:19, Psalm 121:7(V)

Number of voices: 6vv   Voicings: SAATTB, SATTTB or STTTTB
Genre: SacredMotetResponsory

Language: Latin
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1554 in Phalèse, Liber secundus cantionum sacrarum … quinque et sex vocum … (RISM 1554/2), no. 14
    2nd published: 1556 in Berg (Montanus) & Neuber, Evangelia dominicorum et festorum dierum tomus sextus (RISM 1556/9), no. 42
    Manuscript c.1560–70 in Universitätsbibliothek Kassel, 4° Ms. Mus. 91 (hand copied by Johannes Heugel, court composer for Philip of Hesse), no. 34
Description: Among Manchicourt's more than seventy motets, this is the only one with a partial signature (an additional flat in the Bassus part only), a technique from the earlier generation of Renaissance composers. This motet exemplifies Manchicourt's word-painting skills at their best: he has set the Quinta Pars to a slow-moving, ostinato-like cantus firmus — using the opening line of the chant setting of the Votive Antiphon for Peace — that stands in stark (and peaceful) contrast to the frenetic movement of the freely composed counterpoint in the other five voices, depicting their relentless and fruitless search for peace.

External websites:

Original text and translations

Latin.png Latin text

Sustinúimus pacem, et non venit;
quaesívimus bona, et ecce turbátio.
Cognóscimus, Dómine, peccáta nostra:
non in perpétuum obliviscáris nos.

Nos álium deum nescímus praeter Dóminum,
in quo sperámus, qui non despíciet nos,
nec amovébit salútem a génere nostro.
Fiat pax in virtúte tua.

Cantus firmus: Da pacem, Dómine, in diébus nostris.

English.png English translation

We have waited for peace, and it has not come;
we have sought what is good, and behold trouble.
We acknowledge our sins, O Lord:
do not forget us forever.

We know no other god but the Lord,
in whom we trust, who will not despise us,
nor withhold salvation from our people.
Let peace be within thy strength.

Give peace in our time, O Lord.