Sunday, May 07, 2006

This Sunday at St. Thomas Aquinas

From the St. Ann Choir at the noon Mass today at St. Thomas Aquinas, Palo Alto, CA:

Orlando di Lassus, Jubilate Deo
Waclaw z Szamotul, Ego Sum Pastor

Never heard of the second composer? Neither had I, despite years of collecting LP's and CD's of Renaissance music. Turns out he was a Pole, dates c. 1524- c. 1560. The site Completorium says this of him:

The history of Wacław z Szamotuł (W. of Szamotuły) was a history of bad luck for Polish early music. He was a gifted man, a true Renaissance figure. Educated in law, mathematics and philosophy, Wacław of Szamotuły was also a poet writing in Latin as well as in Polish. He died early, about the age of 35. "If the Gods had let him live longer, the Poles would have no need to envy the Italians their Palestrina, Lappi and Vadana" - wrote Szymon Starowolski, author of the first concise biography of Wacław of Szamotuły and one certainly has to agree with him. The second part of bad luck was a fact, that precariously few of his compositions remained to contemporary times.