Te deum : Work information

Composers
António Teixeira ( Music, Images,)
Performed by
Sixteen, Symphony of Harmony and Invention, Harry Christophers (Conductor)

This work

Work name
Te deum
Work number
n/a
Key
n/a
Genre
A
Composed
1734-00-00 02:00:00

This recording

Label
Coro
Producer
Mark Brown
Engineer
Antony Howell
Recording date
n/a

The Composers

António Teixeira

Track listing

  • Te deum laudamus 5:46 min
  • Tibi omnes Angeli 6:06 min
  • Sanctus 5:52 min
  • Te gloriosus 5:29 min
  • Te martyrum candidatus 6:14 min
  • Patrem immensae maiestatis 5:24 min
  • Sanctum quoque 4:32 min
  • Tu Patris sempiternus 5:43 min
  • Tu devicto mortis 5:31 min
  • ludex crederis 1:01 min
  • Te ergo quaesumus 5:24 min
  • Salvum fac 4:35 min
  • Per singulos dies 4:54 min
  • Dignare Domine 4:11 min
  • Fiat misericordia tua 4:18 min
  • In te Domine speravi 4:45 min

Notes

The Score of Teixeira's Te Deum survives in the Italian Church (Igreja do Loreto) in Lisbon.

It was probably performed on the last day of 1734, though it could possibly have been two years earlier. The date was determined by the old tradition of singing the Te Deum on 31st December in order to give thanks to God for all the benefits received during the course of the year. Teixeira sets the Text in alternum fashion; that is to say, he sets only every other verse, leaving the rest to be sung in Plainchant.

Texeira's setting is remarkable both for it's length (though this ceases to be surprising when one takes into account the venerable tradition behind the composition of such substantial works) and for its scoring: it calls for eight soloists, five four-part choirs, and a large orchestra which comprises, in addition to the usual strings and continuo section, flutes, oboes, bassoon and horns.

Musically, the Te Deum is extremely resourceful, and the fruit of Texeira's studies in Rome is much in evidence. Frequent and effective use is made of polychoral writing (the end of 'Tibi omnes angeli' is a noteworthy example) as a balance to the massive textures obtainable with the full choral ensemble, and with the addition of the often virtuoso writing for the soloists the range of colours the composer is able to draw upon is very large.

A notable feature of much of the solo writing is its operatic character: the opening soprano solo of 'Tu devicto mortis' is an effective transposition in a sacred context of a dramatic recitative, and 'Dignare Domine' begins with a miniature aria.

The full chorus is often employed is passages of a loosely canonic character, but also has two particularly impressive sections of stricter fugato writing, as 'Te Gloriosus' and 'In to Domine speravi'. The former in fact gives way, at 'apostolorum chorus', to an extended and very jubilant antiphonal passage, but the latter maintains its contrapuntal character until the 'Non confundar' section.

Any visitor to Portugal today may see for himself the architectural evidence of the reign of the priest-king Dom Joao v in the astonishing Convent of Mafra, built in fulfilment of a vow made to St. Anthony. Teixeira's Te Deum, in sharing its monumental quality, and the sense of intricate grand design in the service of a higher cause, is no less a reflection of its time.