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RC 24 Jesu dulcis memoria

text source

Liber usualis, 452-453

first performance

1890-04-13 00:00:00.0 Amsterdam, Mozes en Aäronkerk

recordings

  • Memorare KRO 94009

publications

  • Diepenbrock Album B/M Vol. II
  • Diepenbrock Album T/S Vol. II
  • Jesu dulcis memoria voor baryton en orgel Noske, A.A. 20607485

  • Jesu dulcis memoria
  • Clairvaux, Bernardus van (Bernard of Clairvaux)
  • baritone and organ or piano
  • 1889-01-01 00:00:00.0 - 1889-12-31 00:00:00.0 | revised 1896-02-01 00:00:00.0 - 1896-02-28 00:00:00.0
  • duration ca. 5:00

Jesu dulcis memoria is the second work by Diepenbrock that was inspired by La faute de l’abbé Mouret (Abbé Mouret’s Transgression) by Émile Zola (see Ave Maria, RC 23). He uses the five strophes of the hymn of Bernardus of Clairvaux,1 which in the Roman Catholic liturgy are prescribed for the vespers of the Feast of the Holy Name.2 Remarkably, in Diepenbrock’s setting the third and fourth strophes have been changed round. The exact reason for this is not clarified in his letters, but a possible explanation could be that he was aiming for a particular climax. Diepenbrock’s word setting is syllabic and he emphasises the form of the poem by changing key with every strophe. The work is meditative and sedate right until the text “Jesu spes paenitentibus” at the beginning of the fourth strophe, where he repeats the melody of the opening line “Jesu dulcis memoria”. The fifth strophe is preceded by an eight-measure organ intermezzo with a gradual accelerando and leads to an ecstatic conclusion. …more >

Jesu dulcis memoria (incipit)


Jesu dulcis memoria is the second work by Diepenbrock that was inspired by La faute de l’abbé Mouret (Abbé Mouret’s Transgression) by Émile Zola (see Ave Maria, RC 23). He uses the five strophes of the hymn of Bernardus of Clairvaux,1 which in the Roman Catholic liturgy are prescribed for the vespers of the Feast of the Holy Name.2 Remarkably, in Diepenbrock’s setting the third and fourth strophes have been changed round. The exact reason for this is not clarified in his letters, but a possible explanation could be that he was aiming for a particular climax. Diepenbrock’s word setting is syllabic and he emphasises the form of the poem by changing key with every strophe. The work is meditative and sedate right until the text “Jesu spes paenitentibus” at the beginning of the fourth strophe, where he repeats the melody of the opening line “Jesu dulcis memoria”. The fifth strophe is preceded by an eight-measure organ intermezzo with a gradual accelerando and leads to an ecstatic conclusion.

The work was written for baritone P. van Erven Dorens. He premiered Jesu dulcis memoria soon after its completion in the Moses and Aaron Church in Amsterdam at the Sunday afternoon praise meeting of 13 April 1890. A letter Diepenbrock wrote to his mother nine days later shows that he was pleased with this performance:

Last Sunday afternoon […] I heard the composition I wrote for van Erven in the Moses and Aaron. Before I arrived, Verheyen grumbled about it at first; saying it was so difficult for the organ, but the more he played it, the more he liked it, and in the end he had found the right stops. He then played with very soft violin stops, those beautiful ones found on modern organs. It was like rustling rain on an evening in May and van Erven’s voice sounded perfectly clear and pure against it. They were both pleased with the result. But what I enjoyed most was that that thing I spent half a year labouring on, finally turned out as I wanted, or actually even better. (BD I:214-215)

Revision

In February 1896 Diepenbrock revised the work, replacing the organ part by piano accompaniment. Diepenbrock made a new manuscript of this version, A-41(2). The original autograph with organ accompaniment, which was most likely given to P. van Erven Dorens as a present, has been lost. A version for organ – possibly an arrangement of the manuscript A-41(2) – has been transmitted in semi-autograph A-80(9) from the collection of Gerard Zalsman. He performed the sacred song several times, for example with the organist Willem Petri (1865-1950) in the St Peter’s Church in Utrecht on 19 November 1907. The meticulous notation of the organ registration and the many tempo and dynamic markings in this manuscript (some are in Diepenbrock’s handwriting) make it an important document on the performance practice of those days.

Jesu dulcis memoria was not published during Diepenbrock’s lifetime. The work was not included in Noske’s selection for his series of 1905, presumably for the same reasons as the Ave Maria (see RC 23).

Robert Spannenberg

1 cf. Heinrich Lausberg Der Hymnus ‘Jesu dulcis memoria = Hymnologische und hagiographische Studien Vol. 1 (Munich: Hueber 1967).

2 Raccolta di orazioni e pie opere, per le quali sono state concesse dai Sommi Pontefici le SS. Indulgenze (Rome: Perego-Salvioni 1855).

 



Jezus, zoete gedachtenis,
Die ’t harte ware vreugden geeft;
Maar boven honig en het al
Zijn zoete tegenwoordigheid.

Niets lieflijkers gezongen wordt,
Niets aangenamers wordt gehoord,
Niets zoeters ooit wordt stil bepeinsd,
Dan Jezus, ’s Vaders Een’ge Zoon.

Geen tong te zeggen het vermag,
Geen letter het beschrijven zal,
Ervaring slechts ’t geloven kan,
Wat Jezus te beminnen is.

Jezus, Gij, der boetvaard’gen hoop,
Hoe liefd’rijk wien verlangen U!
Hoe goed voor al wie zoeken U!
Maar wat voor hen, die vinden U?

Wees Gij, o Jezus, onze vreugd,
Die eenmaal wezen zult ons loon;
In U ook onze glorie zij
Altijd door alle eeuwen heen.
Jesu, dulcis memoria,
Dans vera cordis gaudia;
Sed super mel et omnia,
Ejus dulcis praesentia.

Nil canitur suavius,
Nil auditur jucundius,
Nil cogitatur dulcius,
Quam Jesus, Dei Filius.

Non lingua valet dicere,
Nec littera exprimere:
Expertus potest credere,
Quid sit Jesum diligere.

Jesu, spes paenitentibus,
Quam pius es petentibus!
Quam bonus te quaerentibus!
Sed quid invenientibus?

Sis, Jesu, nostrum gaudium,
Qui es futurus praemium
Sit nostra in te gloria,
Per cuncta semper saecula.
Jesus, the very thought of Thee,
With sweetness fills my breast;
But sweeter far Thy Face to see
And in Thy presence rest.

Nor voice can sing, nor heart can frame,
Nor can the memory find
A sweeter sound than Thy blest Name,
O Saviour of mankind!

My tongue and words cannot express,
Their usefulness is low
But having felt is to believe,
sweet Jesus’ love to know.

O Hope of every contrite heart,
O joy of all the meek,
To those who fall, how kind Thou art,
How good to those who seek.

Jesus, our only joy be Thou,
As Thou our prize wilt be;
O Jesus, be our glory now
And through eternity.

 


  • A-41(2) Jesu dulcis memoria

    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6

    A-41(2) in E-flat Major, signed and dated on the first page A Diepenbrock 1889 and on the last page Hertogenbosch Sept 1889 / Amsterdam 1896 Febr. (Oorspronkelijk met Orgelbegeleiding)

    • 1889-01-01 00:00:00.0 – 1896-01-01 00:00:00.0
    • location: Diepenbrock Archief Laren
    • pages: 6
  • A-4(9) Jesu dulcis memoria

    semi-autograph A-4(9) in E-flat Major, dated on the last page Sept 1889, copyist Adam Kolk

    • 1889-09-01 00:00:00.0
    • location: Diepenbrock Archief Laren
    • pages: unknown
  • A-80(8) Jesu dulcis memoria

    copy A-80(8) in E-flat Major

    • location: Diepenbrock Archief Laren
    • pages: unknown
  • A-80(9) Jesu dulcis memoria

    semi-autograph A-80(9) in D Major, signed and dated on the last page A D gecomponeerd 1888 [sic], copyist F. du Pré, owned by Gerard Zalsman

    • 1888-01-01 00:00:00.0 – 1888-12-31 00:00:00.0
    • location: Gerard Zalsman
    • pages: unknown

  • click to enlarge

    Memorare

    cd KRO 94009
    Versteeg, Marc ♦ Bartelink, Bernard ♦ Brummelstroete, Wilke te ♦ Overpelt, Robbert ♦ Vocaal Ensemble Markant

    Tracks:

  • Diepenbrock Album B/M Vol. II

    1955 Reeser, Eduard
  • Diepenbrock Album T/S Vol. II

    1960 Reeser, Eduard
  • Jesu dulcis memoria voor baryton en orgel

    1923 Noske, A.A.

27 nov 1904: Uitvoering van Jesu dulcis memoria in de Luthersche Kerk te Leiden door Gerard Zalsman met orgelbegeleiding van Cornelis de Wolf, tijdens een kerkconcert van de afd. Leiden der Maatschappij tot bevordering der Toonkunst.

Zalsman overtrof zich-zelven in een aria van Bach, den Hymnus (woorden van Hugo Salus; waarom dit niet op het programma vermeld?) van Smulders, en een diepzinnig (naar ik vermoed niet gepubliceerd) Jesu dulcis memoria van Diepenbrock. Ik herinner mij niet hem ooit zoo goed gehoord te hebben.

Weekblad voor Muziek (C.A.C), 10 december 1904

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