Domine, ad Adiuvandum

Program Notes:

“Domine ad adiuvandum” by 17th Century Italian Baroque composer Isabella Leonarda sets just one line of Psalm 40 and follows it with the “Gloria Patri”.

Conductor Notes:

Scored for SATB, 2 violins, and continuo. As the bass line for the majority of the piece is doubled in the continuo, we opted to divide the choir into three vocal lines to cover SAT at the notated pitches (altos in tenor range). When the score moves to the florid, joyful “Amen” section starting in measure 102 for the final 12 bars, all four vocal lines are independent, so we redivided to cover them all. Alto 2s sang the tenor line in tenor range, and alto 1s sang the bass line up one octave.

An enjoyable sing that is moderate in challenges due to lots of homophony. The last section contrasts that reserve with very florid lines.

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

This work sets just one line of Psalm 40 and follows it with the “Gloria Patri”. The first chords are a cry to God, declaimed urgently. Homophony abounds as we repeat the word “Domine” to call on God for help.


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from Psalm 40:

[Deus in adiuvandum meum intende] – this line not set chorally
Domine ad adiuvandum me festina.
Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto,
Sicut erat in principio et nunc et semper
Et in saecula saeculorum.


Lord, my God, assist me now.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
As it was in the beginning, is now,
And ever shall be.