Surrexit pastor bonus (Melchior Vulpius)

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  • (Posted 2019-02-03)  CPDL #53144:  Network.png
Editor: Christopher Shaw (submitted 2019-02-03).   Score information: A4, 11 pages, 93 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: Please click on the link for preview/playback/PDF download. 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.

General Information

Title: Surrexit pastor bonus
Composer: Melchior Vulpius

Number of voices: 9vv   Voicing: SAT.SSATBB
Genre: SacredMotet

Language: Latin
, parallel German text Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1602 in Cantionum sacrarum prima pars, no. 38
    Manuscript 1592-1685 (copied 1618) in Löbau partbooks, no. 76
Description: 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.

External websites:

Original text and translations

Latin.png Latin text

Surrexit pastor bonus
qui animam suam posuit pro ovibus suis,
et pro grege suo mori dignatus est.

German.png German text

Jesus Christus, unser Heiland, der den Tod überwand,
Ist auferstanden; die Sünd hat er gefangen.
Kyrie eleison.

Christ lag in Todesbanden für unsre Sünd gegeben,
Er ist wieder erstanden und hat uns bracht das Leben;
Des wir sollen fröhlich sein, Gott loben und ihm dankbar sein
Und singen Alleluja.

Christ ist erstanden von der Marter alle.
Des solln wir alle froh sein; Christ will unser Trost sein.

The texts are declaimed in parallel.