Cessate Tympana, Cessate Praelia

  • Composer: Maria Xaviera Peruchona 
  • Publisher: Published in SATB; available on IMSLP; also published by Stainer and Bell
  • Canadian Composition: No
  • Duration: 6:00

Conductor Notes:

This Easter anthem was one of the later compositions on our Women of the Italian Baroque program. Peruchona arrived as a young woman at the Novara convent when Isabella Leonarda was there, the latter 32 years her senior and by then flourishing as a composer and leader. I would sing this piece again in a heartbeat. I feel this is one of the best candidates on our program to be adopted by other choirs, and I am hoping to make available a score that makes easily readable all the voice crossing I did to keep the soprano 2 line in a manageable range, voices paired in suitable octaves in the “O quam dulce” section, and avoids the A2s having to read bass clef. It opens percussively as we invite the listener to “stop the drums, stop the battle”. Voicing is SATB with continuo, which we performed with the tenor and bass lines up the octave. There is a short alto solo in the middle.

Write to me if you want to know what ficta decisions we made.

Cappella Artemisia has recorded this on their “Weep and Rejoice” album.

I recently noticed the publication by Stainer and Bell and have ordered a copy to see what I think. This could be a good source.

References:

This lists any discs, concerts or collections where this piece is included.

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Concerts:

Text

Cessate tympana, cessate praelia
Hodie organa triumphent
Alleluia.
Tubae omnes resonate,
Stellae pulchre decantate
Quia resurrexit mundi fax
Caeli dux qui nos dilexit.

O quam dulce mi Jesu videre
Tuos claros triumphos amoris
Posunt omnes mortales gaudere
Dum tuere liber es paena dolores.

In tanta felicitate
In tanta iucunditate
Portas empirei reserate.
O praeclarissimi,
O nobilissimi caeli habitatores,
Monstrate iubila spargentes flores,
Vertendos odores,
Cantate gloria
Quia resurrexit vera vita
Quae nos dilexit.
Alleuia.

Translation

Stop the drums, stop the battle, stop!
Today the organ triumphs.
Alleluia!
Let all trumpets resound,
Let all beautiful stars sing.
For the light of the world has arisen,
The leader of the heavens who loves us.

O how sweet it is, my Jesus,
To see your shining triumph of love.
May all mortals rejoice
So that they may be free from pain and suffering.

In such happiness, in such joy
You carry unleashed fire.
O most shining,
O most noble inhabitants of the heavens,
Show jubilation by spreading the perfume
and scattering flowers,
Sing to the glory
For he that is risen is true life
Who loves us.
Hallelujah.

translation by Candace Smith