Tu Dulcis, O Bone Jesu

Conductor Notes:

Set for AATT and continuo, we opted to perform this with the two tenor lines up the octave, covered by S1 and S2 respectively. Lots of ficta decisions had to be made using the IMSLP score – ask if you’d like to know what we did.

Cozzolani’s masterful setting of this text uses duets throughout and its gentle affect is absolutely beautiful. This was one of my favourite pieces on the Women of the Italian Baroque concert. The closing “donec gloriam” (“I will magnify you”) is suitably glorious. This excerpt from Wikipedia provides a fascinating insight into tensions between a flourishing and modern musical practice in the convents and Rome’s expectations

“In the convent of Santa Radegonda, the nuns sang during major religious feast days. This drew a great deal of attention from the outside world. As abbess of Santa Radegonda, Cozzolani defended the nuns’ music, which came under attack from Archbishop Alfonso Litta, who wanted to reform the convent by limiting the nuns’ practice of music and other contact with the outside world. The archbishop’s qualms could not have been reassured by the ecstatic report of Filippo Picinelli, in Ateneo dei letterati milanesi (Milan, 1670) who found that “the nuns of Santa Radegonda of Milan are gifted with such rare and exquisite talents in music that they are acknowledged to be the best singers of Italy. They wear the Cassinese habits of St. Benedict, but they seem to any listener to be white and melodious swans, who fill hearts with wonder, and spirit away tongues in their praise. Among these sisters, Donna Chiara Margarita Cozzolani merits the highest praise, Chiara in name but even more so in merit, and Margarita for her unusual and excellent nobility of invention…”.

References:

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

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Text

Tu dulcis, o bone Jesu,
tu suavis, o Alma Maria,
tu dulcis ad consolandum,
tu suavis ad lætificandum,
tu benignus ad indulgendum,
tu gratiosa ad intercedendum,
tu fortis ad protegendum gloriosissima Maria,
tu solus potens ad salvandum piissime Jesu.

Quam bonum et quam iocundum in unum esse,
ad te collaudandum et benedicendum.
ad te glorificandum o Beata Maria.
Cantabo semper de te Domine.
Cogitabo, exultabo in te, Rex angelorum.
Te magnificabo cum Filio, Regina cælorum.

Ave ergo, amor cordis mei Jesu. Salus mea Jesu.
Tu Mater Sancta, tu Mater pia,
tu Mater clemens in hac mundi via impetra veniam obtine gratiam.
Tu Jesus Filius donec gloriam.

Translation

You are sweet [to the taste], O good Jesus;
You are delightful, O nourishing Mary;
You are sweet in consoling [us],
You are delightful in gladdening;
You are good in pardoning,
You are favoured in intercession;
You are strong in protecting, most glorious Mary.
You alone are powerful in saving, O holiest Jesus.

How good it is to be united
In praising and blessing you;
How good and joyous it is to be united
In glorifying you, O blessed Mary.
I will always sing of You, O Lord;
I will always meditate on you and exult in you, King of the Angels.
I will magnify you with the Son, Queen of heaven.

Hail, therefore, love of my heart, Jesus, my salvation.
You, holy mother, good mother,
Merciful mother, in this earthly journey give us your favour,
So that Jesus you Son may grant us his Glory.