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Victoria: “Popule meus” (Improperia)

O texto dos “improperios” recollidos no Officium Hebdomadae Sanctae, como tantos outros textos relixiosos (pensemos, por exemplo, no Dixit Dominus), pode ter lecturas que caen fóra do “politicamente correcto”. Pero agora non vou falar das contradiccións da Biblia. Que as expliquen, se poden, os que cren nela ad pedem litterae.

O que ten valor para min é a música que Tomás Luis de Victoria lle puxo ó recorrente “Popule meus, quid feci tibi? […]”. Un valor afectivo porque foi unha das primeiras pezas de Victoria que cantei. Con todo, nunca a cantei no seu contexto litúrxico, e aí está a novidade para min, xa que encontrei, no canal en YouTube de RyanGolddRedux, a gravación dun oficio auténtico (lástima que o sonido sexa algo precario):

Popule meus, quid feci tibi?
Aut in quo contristavi te? Responde mihi.
Hagios o Theos. Sanctus Deus.
Hagios Ischyros. Sanctus Fortis.
Hagios Athanatos, eleison hymas.
Sanctus et Immortalis, miserere nobis.


1. Quia eduxi te de terra Aegypti: parasti crucem salvatori tuo.
2. Quia eduxi te per desertum quadraginta annis, et manna cibavi te, et introduxi in terram satis optimam: parasti crucem salvatori tuo.
3. Quid ultra debui facere tibi, et non feci? Ego quidem plantavi te vineam meam speciosissimam: et tu facta es mihi nimis amara: aceto namque sitim meam potasti: et lancea perforasti latus salvatori tuo.

Encontraredes máis estrofas e información sobre a práctica litúrxica dos Improperia aquí:

Tamén hai unha pequena explicación na Catholic Encyclopedia (1913):

The Improperia are the reproaches which in the liturgy of the Office of Good Friday the Saviour is made to utter against the Jews, who, in requital for all the Divine favours and particularly for the delivery from the bondage of Egypt and safe conduct into the Promised Land, inflicted on Him the ignominies of the Passion and a cruel death. It is during the Adoration of the Cross that these touching remonstrances are rendered by the choir. In all they consist of three distinct parts. Of these the third — composed of the antiphon “Crucem tuam adoramus”, the first verse of Psalm lxvi, the versicle “Crux fidelis”, and the hymn “Pange lingua gloriosi lauream” — does not belong to the Improperia strictly so called. The first part consists of three reproaches, namely, the Popule meus” (Mich., vi, 3), “Ego eduxi” (Jer., ii, 21) and “Quid ultra” (Is., v, 2, 40), the Trisagion (Sanctus Deus, Santus fortis, Sanctus immortalis) being repeated after each in the Latin and Greek languages. The second part contains nine reproaches pervaded by the same strain of remonstrance. Each of these is a verse taken from some portion of the Scriptures and followed in every instance by the “Popule meus” as a sort of refrain. Originally these striking sentences were rendered to a plain-song melody. In the year 1560 Palestrina gave them such an appropriate and beautiful musical setting that Pius IV ordered it to be used in the Sixtine Chapel, where one may still hear on Good Friday each year these exquisite compositions, which are unsurpassed in simple beauty, dramatic feeling, and depth of impressiveness. The best edition of Palestrina’s “Improperia” is probably that published by Dr. Proske in the fourth volume of “Musica Divina” in 1863. This version is founded on the Altaemps-Otthoboni MS. preserved in the Vatican Library (cf. Grove, “Dictionary of Music”, s.v.). The precise date of the appearance of the Improperia in the liturgy is not ascertained. Definite references to it are found in documents of the ninth and tenth centuries, and even traces exist in manuscripts of a much earlier date. In his work “De antiquâ ecclesiæ disciplinâ”, Martène (c. xxiii) gives a number of fragmentary Ordines, some of which go back as far as 600. Many others mention the Improperia. In the beginning the order was not quite what it is now, and in many places the officiant himself at the Good Friday Office sang the verses of the reproaches, while the people joined in the responses or refrain. Thus the representative character of these moving words seems to have been more effectively observed. P.J. MORRISROE


19 Setembro 2007 - Posted by | Music, Tomás Luis de Victoria, Vocal music

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