Peccavi super numerum arenae (Giaches de Wert)

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  • (Posted 2023-02-08)  CPDL #72554: 
Original key (high chiavette):        
Transposed down a minor third:      
Editor: Pothárn Imre (submitted 2023-02-08).   Score information: A4, 9 pages, 188 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Transcribed from 1581 print. This print and also the 1583 print has the same error in Secunda pars bar 11 (a consecutive second interval). Since otherwise the musical material of bars 10-14 is identical with that of bars 5-9, and except for an additional fourth voice the other three voices are also identical with bars 1-5, I have only changed the Tenor (cancelled a minim rest in bar 10, and made the C in bar 11 a semibreve instead of a minim). The dissonance D-C between the Tenor and Quintus has been left untouched in bar 11, because we have the same dissonance between Cantus and Sextus in bar 7. So I have only corrected the Tenor voice, in contrast to the other editions which also changed the Quintus in order to eliminate the D-C dissonance in bar 11.
  • (Posted 2021-03-13)  CPDL #63443:       
Editor: James Wetzel (submitted 2021-03-13).   Score information: Letter, 19 pages, 163 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Transposed down a fifth from original key.
  • (Posted 2016-07-13)  CPDL #40303:     
Editor: John Hetland (submitted 2016-07-13).   Score information: Letter, 18 pages, 1.55 MB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: From Modulationum cum sex vocibus, liber primus (1581). Our source: CMM 24, vol. 16, ed. Carol MacClintock and Melvin Bernstein, 1973. Notation here is at the same pitch as the original with the same time values. Translation, emendations (see last page) and musica ficta by John Hetland and the Renaissance Street Singers. 6 May 2016

General Information

Title: Peccavi super numerum arenae
Composer: Giaches de Wert

Number of voices: 6vv   Voicing: SSATTB
Genre: SacredMotet

Language: Latin
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1581 in Modulationum cum sex vocibus liber primus, no. 6
    2nd published: 1583 in Modulationum sacrarum quinque et sex vocum libri tres in unum volumen redacti, no. 33
    3rd published: 1982 in The Chester Book of Motets, Book 15, no. 4
Description: From The Prayer of Manasseh and Psalm 50 (Hebrew 51)

External websites:

Original text and translations

Latin.png Latin text

Peccávi súper númerum
arénae máris,
et multiplicáta sunt peccáta méa:
et non sum dígnus vidére
altitúdinem caéli,
prae multitúdine iniquitátis méae:
 quóniam irritávi íram túam,
 et málum córam te féci.

Quóniam iniquitátem méam égo cognósco,
et delíctum méum
cóntra me est sémper,
tíbi sóli peccávi,
 quóniam irritávi íram túam,
 et málum córam te féci.

English.png English translation

I have sinned beyond the number
of the sands of the sea,
and my sins have multiplied:
and I am not worthy to view
the height of heaven,
for the multitude of my iniquity:
 because I have provoked your wrath,
 and done evil in your sight.

Because I know my iniquity,
and my transgression
is always against me,
I have sinned against you alone,
 because I have provoked your wrath,
 and done evil in your sight.