My Soul is exceeding sorrowful

Padre Martini is one of those unknown composers, whose brilliance was recognised during his lifetime by people who counted. He served as tutor both to Mozart and the “London” Bach, one of the younger sons of Johan Sebastian.

As we are entering the season of Lent, I share Giovanni Battista Martini’s touchingly beautiful composition of Jesus’s words in the Garden of Gethsemane to his disciples: Tristis est anima mea usque ad mortem: sustinete hic et vigilate mecum. (“My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.” (KJV)

Nunc videbitis turbam quæ circumdabit me. Vos fugam capietis, et ego vadam immolari pro vobis. (Now ye shall see a multitude, that will surround me. Ye shall run away, and I will go to be sacrificed for you.)

Tristis est anima mea is a traditional responsorium for Maundy Thursday.

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