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In tua patientia, by Adrian Willaert (c. 1490​-​1562)

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Motet for Saint Lucy's Day (December 13th), composed by Adrian Willaert (c. 1490 – 1562).

Saint Lucy of Syracuse (circa 283-304) was a virgin martyr whose feast day falls on December 13, the longest night of the year according to the ancient Julian calendar. Derived from the latin “lux”, her name means “light”. St. Lucy is the patron saint of those who are blind, in commemoration of her sacrifice of having plucked out her beautiful eyes to elude an unwanted suitor and remain chaste.

Falling as it did on the winter solstice, Lucy's day remains an important feast day in several European traditions, including that of England prior to its dalliance with the reformed church in the 16th century. English Catholic recusants, including John Dowland and John Donne, continued to recognize the significance of St. Lucy's Day.

In this polyphonic setting Adrian Willaert synthesized with great sensitivity both the text and melodic shape of the antiphon, In tua patientia, proper for Vespers on the Feast of St. Lucy. Our arrangement of Willaert's music captures the spirit of serenity and calm resolution one associates with St. Lucy, clearly conveying the text with a solo voice on the cantus part and gently weaving a tapestry of the accompanying lines with the angelic combination of lute and harp


In tua patientia permanens
possedisti animam tuam,
Lucia, sponsa Christi,
quae in mundo erant despexisti
et ideo in terris
nomen tuum colitur
cum reliquis Christi martyribus,
coruscanti lucere fulges.


By your endurance in suffering
you've saved your soul,
Lucy, bride of Christ.
Disdaining all worldly things,
your name is therefore honored on earth
and is crowned in heaven;
glittering, shining brightly alongside
the rest of the martyrs of Christ.

(translation by Donna Stewart)


from Magnum Mysterium: Advent & Christmas music for lute & voice, released November 1, 2016
Arranged from the original source by Ron Andrico, Mignarda Editions
Performed live by Mignarda; Donna Stewart, voice and Ron Andrico, lute with Frederick Lautzenheiser, harp.



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Mignarda Danby, New York

Mignarda specializes in thoughtful programming illuminating the vibrant mingling of renaissance music & poetry. Noted for awakening modern audiences to an appreciation for historical music, their work encompasses concertizing, teaching & recording, with ten critically-acclaimed CDs, a series of 12 music editions, scholarly articles, reviews and the internationally-popular blog, Unquiet Thoughts. ... more

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