Lasso: Lagrime di San Pietro

Lassus: Lagrime di San Pietro
Ensemble Vocal Européen - Philippe Herreweghe
Harmonia Mundi HMC 901483
Harmonia Mundi "Edition Herreweghe" 2981483
Harmonia Mundi "Musique d'abord" HMA 195 1483


  1. Il magnanimo Pietro, che giurato
  2. Ma gli archi, che nel petto gli aventaro
  3. Tre volte haveva a l'importuna, e audace
  4. Qual a l'incontro di quegli occhi santi
  5. Giovane donna il suo bel volto in specchio
  6. Cosí talhór benché profane cose
  7. Ogni occhio del signór lingua veloce
  8. Nessún fedél trovai, nessún cortese
  9. Chi ad una raccontár potesse
  10. Come falda di neve, che agghiacciata
  11. E non fu il pianto suo rivo, o torrente
  12. Quel volto, ch'era poco inanzi stato
  13. Veduto il míser, quanto differente
  14. E vago d'incontrár chi giusta pena
  15. Váttene vita va, dicéa piangendo
  16. O vita troppo rea, troppo fallace
  17. Ah quanti già felici in giovanezza
  18. Non trovara mia fé sì duro intoppo
  19. Queste opre e più, che'l mondo, ed io sapea
  20. Negando il mio signór, negai quel ch'era
  21. Motet: Vide homo, quae pro te patior


Ensemble Vocal Européen , Philippe Herreweghe dir.
Maria-Cristina Kiehr, Johanna Koslowsky (cantus), Simon Berridge, Gerd Türk (altus), Hervé Lamy, Peter Kooy (tenor), Adrian Peacock (bassus).

Playing time: 60'

Recording date: June 1993

[1]-[4], [21] Harmonia mundi HMX 290 8016.20 Musique de la Renaissance Music - L'Europe Musicale au XVe et XVIe siècles

A cycle of 20 Italian madrigals set to poems by Luigi Tansillo centered on Peter's denial of Christ and subsequent remorse and pain; a Latin motet concludes. This is Lasso's last work, finished 3 weeks before his death and published the following year. The madrigals are set in 7 parts.

François Velde

The present setting (followed by a Latin motet, added by Lassus himself) is of texts by Luigi Tansillo (1510-1568). It shows Lassus' most advanced ideas on 7-point conterpoint, and is seen by many as a sort of personal summation for his life.

In many ways, this piece marks the climax of Renaissance polyphonic development. Although there was more polyphonic composition going on in places like Spain & Portugal, those were conservative works. Here we see the last innovative contrapuntally-based ideas from a composer of the central tradition, and a path that does not lead to the Baroque.

This cycle has been well-served on recording. Other possibilities:

Lassus: Lagrime di San Pietro
Consort of Musicke - Anthony Rooley
L'Oiseau Lyre 443 197
Lassus: Lagrime di San Pietro
Huelgas Ensemble - Paul Van Nevel
Sony Vivarte 53373
Lassus: Lagrime / Melancholia
Ensemble Hofkapelle - Michael Procter
Christophorus 77255
Lassus: Lagrime di San Pietro
Ars Nova Ensemble - Bo Holten
Naxos 8.553311
Lassus: Lagrime di San Pietro
Capella Ducale Venetia - Livio Picotti
CPO 999 862

There is really little to compare with Lassus' use of homophony-polyphony here. The only cycle which could be called similar in any way is Le Printemps of Claude Le Jeune (c.1528-1600). There is in fact some evidence that the two composers met, and indeed Lassus set some texts of Antoine de Baïf, who was a close member of Le Jeune's circle. A fine recording of selections from that work:

Le Jeune: Le Printemps
Huelgas Ensemble - Paul Van Nevel
Sony Vivarte 68259

Other significant recordings of Lassus featuring Herreweghe:

Lassus: Psalmi Davidis Pænitentiales
Collegium Vocale Gent - Philippe Herreweghe
Harmonia Mundi 901831
Lassus: Lamentations of Jeremiah
Chapelle Royale - Philippe Herreweghe
Harmonia Mundi 901299
Lassus: Cantiones Sacrae sex vocum
Collegium Vocale Gent - Philippe Herreweghe
Harmonia Mundi 901984
Lassus: Moduli Quinis Vocibus (1571)
Collegium Vocale / Knabenchor Hannover - Philippe Herreweghe
Astrée 7780

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Todd M. McComb