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Membra Jesu Nostri Oratorio by Dieterich Buxtehude du k e v e spe r s e nse m bl e

Presenting Buxtehude’s Membra Jesu Nostri is a monumental, collaborative effort. With that in mind, the Duke Vespers Ensemble is proud to present two performances of this work —

Spring Concert........................................................................................................April 21, 2013 duke university chapel, durham, nc

Boston Early Music Festival Fringe Concert............................................June 13, 2013 church of the covenant, boston, ma

These performances are made possible through generous support from the Vereen Family Endowment for Choral Vespers, with additional support from the Friends of Duke Chapel.

As a courtesy to the performers and other audience members, we ask that you please turn off all watches, cell phones, pagers, and other electronic devices, and remain seated for the duration of the performance.

Membra Jesu Nostri The Holy Limbs of our Suffering Jesus

Membra Jesu Nostri consists of a series of seven cantatas, utilizing choral and solo singing, with instrumental ritornelli. The performance, which will last approximately 65 minutes, will be presented without intermission.

1. Ad the feet Kristen Blackman, Lewis Moore

2. Ad the knees Kyle Jones, Erica Dunkle, Kristen Blackman, Laura Dawalt, Stephen Pysnik, Jake Ritter

3. Ad the hands Samantha Arten, Meredith Hawley, Ruthan Freese, Kyle Jones, Stephen Pysnik

4. Ad the sides Samantha Arten, Kerry McCarthy, Kyle Jones, Mike Lyle, Laura Dawalt

5. Ad the breasts Erica Dunkle, Kyle Jones, Mike Lyle, Stephen Pysnik

6. Ad the heart Kristen Blackman, Erica Dunkle, Lewis Moore, Laura Dawalt

7. Ad the face Meredith Hawley, Karen Cook, Kyle Jones, Mike Lyle, Kerry McCarthy

Program Notes Membra Jesu Nostri

Dietrich Buxtehude (c.1637-1707) is most widely known as an organist and composer of virtuosic organ works. However, at his position in Lübeck, in northern Germany, he was best known for the successful programming and execution of the acclaimed Abendmusiken series at the Marienkirche. This series, initially consisting of small concerts on weekday afternoons, developed into five centerpiece concerts, held on Sunday afternoons and spread out through the year. Though he also served as organist for regular worship services, his position as director of the concert series did not necessarily require his compositions to fit into a liturgical context. The freedom allowed by his position was pivotal in Buxtehude’s compositional output, allowing him to focus on a wider variety of texts and subjects, employing varied vocal and instrumental forces. Buxtehude was also a master of form, composing fluently in many of the established styles of the Baroque period. Membra Jesu Nostri (BuxWV 75), composed in 1680, is dedicated to Gustaf Düben, Buxtehude’s friend and colleague who held several influential positions in Stockholm. Düben’s influence on the work can be immediately seen in Buxtehude’s choice of Latin text for the work. While this seemed to run counter to the popular trend for Lutheran sacred works to be in the German vernacular (including the rest of Buxtehude’s surviving cantatas, which are set to German texts), Latin was still appealing to those who considered themselves to be musical connoisseurs. Gustaf Düben certainly fit into this category; his personal collection of Buxtehude’s works also included the manuscript of

pictured above: Title Page of Dieterich Buxtehude’s Membra Jesu Nostri

Benedicam Dominum, a motet for six mixed choirs of voices and winds, which is similar in style to the Venetian polychoral works of Willaert and Gabrieli. It is through his personal collection, later bequeathed by his family to Uppsala University, that many valuable manuscripts by Buxtehude and other Baroque composers survive to the present day. The text for Membra Jesu Nostri comes primarily from the Salve mundi salutare, a Medieval hymn of disputed authorship. Consisting of seven cantos, each section is a deeply personal, reverent meditation on the members of Jesus’s body on the cross. Buxtehude pulls three strophes from each canto for his work, and gives the texts to varying combinations of solo and trio voices. The soloistic portions are then framed by choral settings of selected Biblical texts, predominantly from the Old Testament, which refer to the same parts of the body and provide theological cohesion to the work. These sections often repeat in da capo fashion, and are tied together with instrumental ritornelli that both introduce and reinforce material from the vocal parts. While each of the seven cantatas which make up Membra Jesu Nostri exist as fully-formed, satisfying units, their textual content and musical language show that they are undoubtedly intended to be considered together as a unified composition. This often causes the work to be referred to as “the first Lutheran oratorio,” an honor that may actually belong to one of Buxtehude’s lost earlier works. Regardless, Membra Jesu Nostri is one clear precursor of the tradition that would lead to the masterworks of Bach, Haydn, Mendelssohn and Brahms. It is an intensely emotional and personal work, and a landmark in German sacred music. — Michael Lyle

Artwork in this program (and in the narthex, for the Duke Chapel concert) has been commissioned by Duke University Chapel Music from artist Robyn Sand Anderson. These works, inspired by the text and music of the oratorio, also draw focus and inspiration from the suffering of Christ.

Ad pedes to the feet

1. Sonata

(instrumental introduction)

2. Concerto

Ecce super montes pedes evangelizantis et annunciantis pacem.

Behold, upon the mountains the feet of him who brings good news and proclaims peace. (nahum 1:15)

3. Aria (S)

Salve mundi salutare, salve, salve, Jesu care. Cruci tuae me aptare vellem vere, tu scis quare: da mihi tui copiam.

Hail, salvation of the world, hail, hail, dear Jesus. I truly wish to fit myself to your cross, you know why: give me your abundance.

4. Aria (S)

Clavos pedum, plagas duras, et tam graves impressuras circumplector cum affectu, tuo pavens in aspectu, tuorum memor vulnerum.

The nails in your feet, the harsh blows and such grievous scars I embrace with love, trembling in your sight, mindful of your wounds.

5. Aria (B)

Dulcis Jesu, pie Deus, ad te clamo licet reus: praebe mihi te benignum, ne repellas me indignum de tuis sanctis pedibus.

Sweet Jesus, merciful God, I cry to you, though I am guilty: show yourself to be kind to me, do not turn me away, though unworthy, from your holy feet.

6. Concerto

(da capo: Ecce super montes)

7. Concerto

Salve mundi salutare, salve, salve, Jesu care. Cruci tuae me aptare vellem vere, tu scis quare: da mihi tui copiam.



Hail, salvation of the world, hail, hail, dear Jesus. I truly wish to fit myself to your cross, you know why: give me your abundance.

Ad genua to the knees

1. Sonata 2. Concerto

Ad ubera portabimini, et super genua blandientur vobis.

You will be carried at her breasts and dandled on her knees. (isaiah 66:12)

3. Aria (T)

Salve Jesu, rex sanctorum, spes votiva peccatorum, crucis ligno tanquam reus, pendens homo verus deus, caducis nutans genibus.

Hail, Jesus, king of the saints, devout hope of sinners, hanging on the cross like a criminal, as true God and man, trembling upon weak knees.

4. Aria (A)

Quid sum tibi responsurus, actu vilis, corde durus? Quid rependam amatori, qui elegit pro me mori, ne dupla morte morerer?

What answer shall I give you, vile in deeds and hard-hearted as I am? How shall I repay a lover who chose to die for me, lest I die a second death?

5. Aria (SSB)

Ut te quaeram mente pura, sit haec mea prima cura. Non est labor et gravabor, sed sanabor et mundabor, cum te complexus fuero.

That I might seek you with a pure mind: let that be my first concern. It is no hard task, nor am I weighed down, but I am healed and made pure when I embrace you.

6. Concerto

(da capo: Ad ubera portabimini)


Ad manus to the hands

1. Sonata 2. Concerto

Quid sunt plagae istae in medio manuum tuarum?

What are these wounds in the middle of your hands? (zechariah 13:6)

3. Aria (S)

Salve Jesu, pastor bone, fatigatus in agone, qui per lignum es distractus et ad lignum es compactus expansis sanctis manibus.

Hail, Jesus, good shepherd, wearied in agony, stretched out on the cross and fastened to the cross with your holy hands spread out.

4. Aria (S)

Manus sanctae, vos amplector, et gemendo condelector: grates ago plagis tantis, clavis duris, guttis sanctis, dans lacrymas cum osculis.

Holy hands, I embrace you, and, lamenting, I delight in you: I give thanks for such wounds, for the harsh nails, for the holy drops of blood, shedding tears with my kisses.

5. Aria (ATB)

In cruore tuo lotum me commendo tibi totum: tuae sanctae manus istae me defendant, Jesu Christe, extremis in periculis.

Washed in your blood I wholly entrust myself to you: may these holy hands of yours defend me, Jesus Christ, in my last hour of need.

6. Concerto

(da capo: Quid sunt plagae istae)


Ad latus to the sides

1. Sonata 2. Concerto

Surge, amica mea, speciosa mea, et veni, columba mea in foraminibus petrae, in caverna maceriae.

Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come, my dove in the clefts of the rock, in the hollow of the cliff. (song of songs 2:13-14)

3. Aria (S)

Salve latus Salvatoris, in quo latet mel dulcoris, in quo patet vis amoris, ex quo scatet fons cruoris, qui corda lavat sordida.

Hail, side of the Saviour, in which the honey of sweetness is hidden, in which the power of love is revealed, from which gushes the spring of blood that makes filthy hearts clean.

4. Aria (ATB)

Ecce tibi appropinquo, parce, Jesu, si delinquo: verecunda quidem fronte ad te tamen veni sponte scrutari tua vulnera.

Behold, I approach you, forgive me, Jesus, if I fail: with abashed countenance but of my own free will I come to you to examine your wounds.

5. Aria (S)

Hora mortis meus flatus intret, Jesu, tuum latus: hinc expirans in te vadat, ne hunc leo trux invadat, sed apud te permaneat.

At the hour of death, may my spirit enter into your side, O Jesus: dying may it pass into you: may the cruel lion not attack it, but let it remain close to you.

6. Concerto

(da capo: Surge amica mea)


Ad pectus to the breasts

1. Sonata 2. Concerto a 3 voci

Sicut modo geniti infantes, rationabiles et sine dolo concupiscite, ut in eo crescatis in salutem: si tamen gustatis quoniam dulcis est Dominus.

Like newly born infants, let your desires be reasonable and without guile, so you may grow in salvation in him: if, however, you have tasted how sweet the Lord is. (1 peter 2:2-3)

3. Aria (A)

Salve, salus mea, Deus, Jesu dulcis, amor meus: salve, pectus reverendum, cum tremore contingendum, amoris domicilium.

Hail, O God, my salvation, sweet Jesus, my beloved: hail, worthy breast to be revered, to be touched with trembling, the dwelling place of love.

4. Aria (T)

Pectus mihi confer mundum, ardens, pium, gemebundum, voluntatem abnegatam, tibi semper conformatam, juncta virtutum copia.

Give me a clean breast, ardent, pious, lamenting, a resigned will, always conforming to you, with an abundance of virtues.

5. Aria (B)

Ave, verum templum Dei, precor miserere mei, tu totius arca boni, fac electis me apponi, vas dives, Deus omnium.

Hail, true temple of God, I pray, have mercy on me: shrine of all that is good, place me with the righteous, rich vessel, God of all.

6. Concerto a 3 voci

(da capo: Sicut modo geniti)


Ad cor to the heart

1. Sonata 2. Concerto a 3 voci

Vulnerasti cor meum, soror mea, sponsa, vulnerasti cor meum.

You have wounded my heart, my sister, my bride, you have wounded my heart. (song of songs 4:9)

3. Aria (S)

Summi regis cor, aveto, te saluto corde laeto, te complecti me delectat et hoc meum cor affectat: ut ad te loquar animes.

Heart of the highest king, I greet you, I salute you with a joyous heart, it delights me to embrace you and my heart aspires to this: move me to speak to you.

4. Aria (S)

Per medullam cordis mei, peccatoris atque rei, tuus amor transferatur, quo cor tuum rapiatur languens amoris vulnere.

Through the marrow of my heart, the heart of a sinner and guilty man, may your love enter in, the love with which your heart was seized, languishing with the wound of love.

5. Aria (B)

Viva cordis voce clamo, dulce cor, te namque amo: ad cor meum inclinare, ut se possit applicare devoto tibi pectore.

I call with the living voice of the heart, sweet heart, I truly love you: bend down to my own heart, so that it may draw close to you with a devoted breast.

6. Concerto a 3 voci

(da capo: Vulnerasti cor meum)


Ad faciem to the face

1. Sonata 2. Concerto

Illustra faciem tuam super servum tuum: salvum me fac in misericordia tua.

Let your face shine upon your servant: save me in your mercy. (psalm 31:16)

3. Aria (ATB)

Salve, caput cruentatum, totum spinis coronatum, conquassatum, vulneratum, arundine verberatum, facie sputis illita.

Hail, bloodied head, all crowned with thorns, beaten, wounded, struck with a reed, face soiled with spittle.

4. Aria (A)

Dum me mori est necesse, noli mihi tunc deesse: in tremenda mortis hora veni, Jesu, absque mora, tuere me et libera.

When my time comes to die, do not abandon me then: at the great hour of death, come, Jesus, without delay, protect and set me free.

5. Aria

Cum me jubes emigrare, Jesu care, tunc appare: O amator amplectende, temet ipsum tunc ostende in cruce salutifera.

When you command me to depart, dear Jesus, then appear: O lover to be embraced, then show yourself on the life-giving cross.





6. Concerto (SSATB)

Robyn Sand Anderson Artist, Membra Jesu Nostri Series

Robyn Sand Anderson has been an artist for about 30 years. Most of that time was joyfully spent working with watercolors. In the last several years, she started to paint with acrylics for some illustration commissions. Drawn in by the brilliant, joyful colors available in acrylic paint, Sand Anderson found that she could achieve both watercolor-like transparency and contrasting opacity in the colorful layers of the paint. Moving from representational watercolor pieces to acrylic abstracts has been an exciting challenge with endless possibilities. Robyn has always felt a pull to wrestle with the big questions of life. She is currently working on a body of work on the subject of suffering, using paint to express the feeling of “slogging through it and holding on to hope where you can find it.” She believes that suffering is something we all hold in common, in some respect, whether it is physical, mental or spiritual. Her own experience comes out of a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis five years ago, a chronic autoimmune disease. Although this has brought grief and pain, she feels gratitude, as well. Artistic contrasts, like contrasts in life, bring focus, attention, and the potential for understanding. There is a great contrast between Sand Anderson’s representational watercolors of the past and current production of abstract expressionist acrylics. Her experience of suffering and coming out of that suffering has changed her, and it is reflected in her art. Sand Anderson is attracted to the color, movement, texture and shapes that are possible with acrylic. She believes that her new paintings speak more coherently to the mystery of being human, in relationship to each other and to God. Robyn Sand Anderson has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Fine Art and Art Education from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.

Contact Robyn Sand Anderson

For current work and to inquire about commissions, including her Painting-A-Day self-challenge, visit

Brian A. Schmidt

Conductor, Duke Vespers Ensemble Brian A. Schmidt is Assistant Conductor and Administrative Coordinator of Chapel Music at Duke University in Durham, NC, where he serves as conductor of the Duke Vespers Ensemble and Duke Divinity School Choir. He is also the Artistic Director of the South Dakota Chorale, a professional chorus organization in Sioux Falls, SD. With the Duke Vespers Ensemble, Schmidt leads a weekly Choral Vespers service amidst the marvelous acoustics of Duke University Chapel. The Duke Vespers Ensemble is an auditioned choir consisting of 20 volunteer singers that strive to work on a level comparable with many of the professional church ensembles in America. Outside of their service work, this ensemble presents primarily early music concerts ranging from Baroque masterworks with period instruments to various Renaissance Mass and Requiem settings. As founder and Artistic Director of the South Dakota Chorale, he manages a roster of professional singers from around the United States that gather and perform in Sioux Falls, SD. Since its founding in 2009, his leadership has guided the South Dakota Chorale to rapid growth, including the production of their first commercial album, In Paradisum: The Healing Power of Heaven. Released in May of 2012 by Gothic Records and distributed internationally by Naxos Records, the album was cited in the body of work that aided producer Blanton Alspaugh in winning the 2013 GRAMMY award for “Best Classical Producer.” Schmidt graduated from the University of North Texas, where he completed the DMA and MM degrees under the direction of Jerry McCoy and Richard Sparks, along with early music studies with Lyle Nordstrom and Lenora McCroskey. Prior to that, he completed a B.M.E. in Choral Conducting from South Dakota State University. He was previously the Director of Music for Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, a 2,500 member Lutheran congregation in Sioux Falls, SD, as well as the founder and Artistic Director of the Dakota Men’s Ensemble, which appeared on National, Regional, and State ACDA Conventions. He maintains an active career as conductor and composer, where his works are published with Colla Voce, Inc., Walton Music, and GIA Music, Inc. Contact Brian A. Schmidt

Brian A. Schmidt is Assistant Conductor and Administrative Coordinator of Chapel Music at Duke University. To discuss musical opportunities and events, call 919.684.3855.

The Duke Vespers Ensemble The Duke Vespers Ensemble is an active chamber choir based at Duke University Chapel in Durham, NC. Consisting of approximately twenty members from the Duke and Durham communities, the choir is directed by Dr. Brian A. Schmidt, Assistant Conductor and Administrative Coordinator for Chapel Music. The Vespers Ensemble specializes in Renaissance and early Baroque choral works, including pieces by Tomás Luis de Victoria, Dietrich Buxtehude, and William Byrd. This early music repertoire is complemented by 19th century and modern works in a similar style by composers such as Herbert Howells, Knut Nystedt, and Arvo Pärt. The group leads worship services every Thursday of the academic year at 5:15 pm. This 45-minute candlelight service consists of scripture readings, prayers, and sacred music, and is held in the intimate setting of the chancel. The Vespers Ensemble also participates in special services throughout the year, including a popular All-Hallows Eve Service, which is held in almost total darkness. All services are available online for live streaming and archived viewing at The Vespers Ensemble also performs several concerts during the academic year, on Duke’s campus and in the Durham community. Recent concerts include a collaborative presentation with the department of Art, Art History, and Visual Studies, featuring the music and art of the Sistine Chapel. The choir also sings abroad, most recently on a tour to Budapest, Prague, and other Eastern European locations.

Duke Vespers Ensemble Conductor....................................................................................................................Brian A. Schmidt Soprano 1..............................Kristen Blackman Laura Dawalt Lydia Greene Soprano 2................................Samantha Arten Ali Carnes Stephanie Westen Alto...............................................Karen Cook Erica Dunkle Ruthan Freese Meredith Hawley Kerry McCarthy Emily Terrell

Tenor..............................................Jianghi Ho Andrew Klumpp Kyle Jones Chris Shreve Bass...........................................David Durkop Mark Kagika Lewis Moore Michael Lyle Stephen Pysnik Jake Ritter

Duke Chapel Music Director of Chapel Music........................................................................................Rodney A. Wynkoop University Organist..........................................................................................................Robert Parkins Chapel Organist and Associate University Organist................................................................David Arcus Assistant Conductor and Administrative Coordinator of Chapel Music............................Brian A. Schmidt Staff Assistant to Chapel Music.............................................................................................Michael Lyle Curator of Organs and Harpsichords...............................................................................John Santoianni University Carillonneur..........................................................................................J. Samuel Hammond

Graphic Design Quartz Studio

This program was designed by Joshua Smith of Quartz Studio, in collaboration with artist Robyn Sand Anderson. For more information, visit

Buxtehude - Membra Jesu Nostri  

An oratorio composed by Dietrich Buxtehude combined with new artwork by Robyn Sand Anderson, commissioned by Duke University Chapel and cond...