Cessate tympana, cessate praelia

Conductor Notes:

Maria Xaveria Peruchona (1652-1709) arrived as a young woman at the Novara convent in Northern Italy when Isabella Leonarda was there, the latter 32 years her senior and by then flourishing as a composer and leader. Peruchona’s Easter anthem was one of the later compositions on our Women of the Italian Baroque program in March 2020. I would sing it again in a heartbeat. It opens percussively as we invite the listener to “Cease, drums! Cease, battle!”. SSAA with a 12-bar alto solo.

Subsequent to Elektra’s performance, where we were reading from an SATB score with octave transpositions, Stephen Smith and I created an SSAA “Elektra Performers’ Edition” in which the continuo is realized for piano or organ. Our goal is to make this piece more approachable, especially for choirs that don’t have access to a period instrument ensemble. Our “Elektra Performer’s Edition” is newly transcribed with all vocal lines for SSAA and a separate keyboard part provided. Part-prominent audio rehearsal tracks are provided free with the licensed pdf.

The wonderful Cappella Artemisia has recorded their treble version of the SATB original on their “Weep and Rejoice” album. Highly recommended.


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




Cessate tympana, cessate praelia
Hodie organa triumphent
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.


Cease, drums! Cease, battles!
Today the organ triumphs.
Let all trumpets resound,
Let the beautiful stars sing forth.
For the light of the world has arisen,
Heaven’s leader, who loves us.

O how sweet, my Jesus,
To see Your shining triumph of love.
All mortals can rejoice,
Being freed from pain and suffering.

In such happiness, in such delight,
You unlocked the gates of empires,
O most shining,
O most noble inhabitants of the heavens.

Show your jubilation by scattering flowers, spreading perfumes.
Sing of glory.
Sing of glory, for the true life has risen, who loves us.

translation by Stephen Smith