Et resurrexit

During the ethereal Et incarnatus est duet that immediately precedes this Et resurrexit segment of the Credo, all knelt to acknowledge Christ’s Incarnation and sacrifice. With the dramatic expansion back to four parts at the words “Et resurrexit,” celebrant, ministers and worshippers stand up, their shared ritual movement continuing this pivotal moment in the Creed’s narrative.

In this section Obrecht synthesizes three separate but complementary ideas in sound in order to create a personal plea for redemption on behalf of Donaes de Moor. The top two voices proclaim belief in the resurrection and ascension of Christ in the words of the Nicene Creed. At the same time the bass voice enters a plea for protection drawn from the responsory addressed to St. Donatian, O sanctissime presul. Most important, the tenor intones the text and melody of one of the famous “O antiphons” usually heard at vespers in the week before Christmas, O clavis David. This chant gives voice to the soul, who implores Christ for deliverance from the chains of prison while sitting in darkness and the shadow of death. Thus the idea of prisoners in need of alms, expressed by the Dutch song in Kyrie II, is here transferred to Donaes himself, imprisoned in death, pleading for help from Christ and St. Donatian for his salvation.

Obrecht’s Et resurrexit is sung by Cappella Pratensis from the original notation as preserved in the choirbook Jena, Universitatsbibliothek, Ms 32.

For more information, see:
Crocker, Richard L., and David Hiley. 2001 “Credo.” Grove Music Online. 22 Jul. 2018.
Strohm, Reinhard. Music in Late Medieval Bruges. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1985. See in particular pp. 146-48.
Wegman, Rob C. Born for the Muses: The Life and Masses of Jacob Obrecht. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994. See in particular pp. 169-74.