Concert Programs

USC Thornton Baroque Sinfonia: Musica Polonica IV: Music of Early Modern Poland Concert Program

April 28, 2023
8:00 p.m.

USC Thornton’s early music ensemble, the Baroque Sinfonia, present a program titled “Musica Antiqua Polonica IV: Music from Early Modern Poland.”

The performance, led by Thornton faculty Adam Knight Gilbert and Jason Yoshida, is presented in collaboration with the Polish Music Center of USC.


Dances from (Aemonitatem musicalum hortulus, 1622)


“Laetentur coeli”

Mikołaj Zieleński (c. 1550-1615)

“In monte olivetti”


“Rex” (Tablatura Jana z Lublina)


“Vox in rama”



Diomedes Cato (1565-1628)

“Veni Domine et noli tardare”


“Polnische Sackpfeiffen”

Johann Schmelzer (c. 1620-80)

“In te Domine speravi”

Wacław of Szamotuły (c. 1520-60)

“Laetatus sum”

Grzegorz Gerwazy Gorczycki (c. 166-1734)

Dances (Aemonitatem musicalum hortulus, 1622)


“Cypryjske Gasięta”


“Pieśń rokoszan Zebrzydowskiego”


“Jeszcze marcinie” (Tablatura Jana z Lublina)


“Zart lieb”/”Zoltarz Jesusow”


Trio sonata

Stanisław Sylwester Szarzyński (fl. 1692-1713)

“Jesu spes mea”


“Modlitwa ‘Już się zmierzcha'”


“Nunc dimittus”


Program Notes

Defining Polish music in the Baroque era is almost as hard as defining Poland itself, a country with a passionate cultural identity, struggling to maintain independence at the crossroads
of a Europe torn my religious war and mercurial political power. As the music in this concert will reveal, however, the same forces that buffeted the Polish people gave birth to composers able to write masterfully in German, French, and Italian styles, and—through the blend of these styles with more eastern influences—something uniquely Polish.

Renaissance sources of Polish music document a love for dancing and a taste for both local and international works. The Amoenitatum musicalium hortulus (1622) contains both anonymous dances and those by English composers like Christopher Simpson, and their similarity to the French and German Dances of Michael Praetorius’ 1612 reveals a collection of the latest dance fashion.

The first known Polish tablature—Tablatura Jana z Lublina [the Jan of Lublin Tablature], compiled between 1537-1548—is the most comprehensive collection of its kind in Europe. This 260- page keyboard compendium contains three-dozen instrumental dances and other largely two-part compositions, written by Polish composers as well as masters from around Europe. In addition to musical notation, it includes a discussion of compositional techniques and various issues regarding organ tuning. Almost nothing is known about Jan, the organist who assembled the compendium. However, it is assumed that he was well educated and moved amongst the various circles of society, from the court and town to the village and monastery, all of which are represented in his collection. His dances Rex and Jesceze Marcinie exemplify a 16th-century tradition of dances built on ground-bass progressions.

Diomedes Cato (1555-1628) was a northern Italian composer who spent most of his life 
in Poland. His Protestant parents fled Italy to settle in Poland around 1565, and Cato was educated in Kraków. For a large part of his life Cato was court lutenist to King Zygmunt III Vasa and in this capacity, he visited Sweden in late 1590s. Most of his catalogue is composed of instrumental music, with a majority written for the lute. Cato’s compositions represent transition from the late Renaissance to early Baroque styles and often feature a fascinating mix of Italian and Polish folk idioms. Cato died in Gdansk on the Baltic coast of Poland and is buried at the St. Nicholas cemetery.

The great Polish sacred compositions of the baroque era reveal the influence of both Italian music and of Italian-flavored German music. Even into the eighteenth century, Polish composer are notable for blending the latest Vivaldian style with more conservative elements associated with Heinrich Schütz. It would be a mistake to call this an archaic approach; it offers Polish music some of its most distinctive flavor.

Stanislaw Sylwester Szarzynski (ca. 1692—ca. 1713) was a Cistercian monk and very little
is known about his life. Only ten of his works have survived and these are mainly vocal- instrumental works written to Latin texts, including vocal concertos, works for two violins and organ, and choral works with instrumental accompaniment. His Jesu spes mea could easily be mistaken for Schütz writing at the height of his career, and the violinistic techniques belong to Venetian music from the early seventeenth century.

Grzegorz Gerwazy Gorczycki (ca. 1666-1734) was born near Bytom in Silesia. He studied philosophy and liberal arts in Prague and theology in Vienna. He moved to Kraków around 1690 and by 1692 entered priesthood, lecturing in rhetoric and poetry at various seminaries. By 1698 he became music director at the Kraków Cathedral (Magister capellae musices Ecclesiae Cathedralis Cracoviensis) and his duties included leading concerts, composing original works, and copying music by other authors. He also served as pastor of several parishes, examiner at seminaries, and overseer of hospitals and prisons. Gorczycki’s wrote chiefly liturgical music and most of his manuscripts with the characteristic “G.G.G.” signature were preserved at the Royal Chapel at Wawel Castle. His Laetatus sum and Nunc dimittus invoke the sounds of trumpets and joyful rhythms in a fugal style that could rival any rousing Handelian chorus.

Two of the most important Polish Renaissance and early-baroque composers race out concert. Wacław of Szamotuły could hold his own with the best sixteenth-century masters. His motet In te Domine speravi shows the strong influence of Josquin Desprez, and his iconic setting of the evening hymn Już się zmierzcha’ shows clear echoes of the great composer Ludwig Senfl. Some of the most beautiful music on this program is Mikołaj Zieleński. His writing shows affinities with Italian music from the end of the Renaissance, but he was no follower: his style developed in lock step with the finest composers of the day.

-Notes by Adam Gilbert and Marek Zebrowski

Text & Translations

Laetentur coeli
et exultet terra
ante faciem Domini,
quoniam venit.

Let the heavens rejoice
and let the earth exalt
before the face of the Lord,
since he is coming.

Translation by Justin Haynes-Pilon
In monte Oliveti
oravi ad Patrem:
Pater, si fieri potest,
transeat a me calix iste.
Spiritus quidem promptus est,
caro autem infirma,
fiat voluntas tua.

On the Mount of Olives
I prayed to the Father:
Father, if it is possible,
let this cup pass from me.
The spirit indeed is willing,
but the flesh is weak.
Thy will be done.
Vox in Rama audita est
Ploratus et ululatus multos.
Rachel plorans filios suos
Et noluit consolari, quia non sunt.

A voice is heard in Rama
Of weeping and great lamentation.
Rachel weeps for her offspring
But nothing will comfort her, since they are no more.
Veni Domine, et noli tardare.
Relaxa facinora plebi tuae.
Excita potentiam tuam, et veni ut salvos nos facias, Veni
Domine, et noli tardare.
Relaxa facinora plebi tuae.
Excita potentiam tuam, et veni ut salvos nos facias, Ad
liberandum nos Domine virtutum,
Ostende faciem tuam vi erimus.
Veni Domine, et noli tardare.

Come, Lord, and do not delay.
Release Thy people from their misdeeds.
Raise up, Lord, Thy power and make us safe.
Come, Lord, and do not delay.
Free Thy people from their misdeeds.
Arouse thy power, and come to make us safe,
To deliver us, Lord of hosts,
Show your face we will be strong.
Come, Lord, and do not delay.
In te, Domine, speravi; non confundar in aeternum: in justitia tua libera me.
Inclina ad me aurem tuam; accelera ut eruas me.
Esto mihi in Deum protectorem, et in domum refugii, ut salvum me facias:
Quoniam fortitudo mea et refugium meum es tu; et propter nomen tuum deduces me et enutries me.
Educes me de laqueo hoc quem absconderunt mihi, quoniam tu es protector meus.
In manus tuas commendo spiritum meum; redemisti me, Domine Deus veritatis.

I put my hope in You, Lord; let me not be confounded forever: in thy righteousness deliver me.
Incline your ear to me; make haste to rescue me.
Be my protector God, and my house of refuge, that thou mayest make me safe:
for you are my strength and my refuge; and for your name’s sake you will bring me in and feed me.
You will lead me out of this trap which they have hidden from me, for you are my protector.
Into your hands I commend my spirit; You have redeemed me, Lord God of truth.
Laetatus sum in his quae dicta sunt mihi: In domum Domini ibimus.
Stantes erant pedes nostri, in atriis tuis, Jerusalem.
Jerusalem, quae aedificatur ut civitas: cujus participatio ejus in idipsum.
Illuc enim ascenderunt tribus, tribus Domini: testimonium Israël, ad confitendum nomini Domini.
Quia illic sederunt sedes in judicio, sedes super domum David.
Rogate quae ad pacem sunt Jerusalem, et abundantia diligentibus te.
Fiat pax in virtute tua, et abundantia in turribus tuis.
Propter fratres meos et proximos meos, loquebar pacem de te.
Propter domum Domini Dei nostri, quaesivi bona tibi.

I rejoiced at the things that were said to me: We shall go into the house of the Lord.
Our feet were standing in thy courts, O Jerusalem.
Jerusalem, which is built as a city, which is compact together.
For thither did the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord: the testimony of Israel, to praise the name of the Lord.
Because their seats have sat in judgment, seats upon the house of David.
Pray ye for the things that are for the peace of Jerusalem: and abundance for them that love thee.
Let peace be in thy strength: and abundance in thy towers.
For the sake of my brethren, and of my neighbors, I spoke peace of thee.
Because of the house of the Lord our God, I have sought good things for thee.
Cypryjskie gąsięta,
krakowskie dziewczęta
Gdzieście mi się zabłąkały
Pastuszeczkę oszukały.

Tyś to winna, Hilareczko
Tuś to winna, figlareczko,
Dajże pokój, dajże pokój.

Mój miły pastuszko
Kochane serduszko,
Jeśliśmy się zabłąkały
Dlatego, żeś chłop ospały
Mikołaj, nie wołaj,
będziesz w czas.

The Cypress geese
Kraków girls, these
Where did you lose way
Shepherdess gone astray.

It’s your fault, Hilary,
That’s no joke, no pillory,
Let it go, let it go.

My shepherd dear

My heart’s fondest cheer

If we lost our way

It’s because you slept all day
Don’t call up Nick,

You’ll make the time tick.

Translated by Marek Zebrowski
Pieśń Rokoszan Zebrzydowskiego

Kto nam chce skar-by wydrzeć?
Nie wydzre, Nie wydzre, Nie wydzre, Nie wydzre!
Trwogi sie bać? Trwogi sie bać? Trwogi sie bać?
Nic niebać Moc na moc,

Kto wykro-ci Kto wykro-ci Kto wykroci Kto wykroci Kto wykroci

Chca gwałtem Nie ugroża
Ale się sroża Nic nie dbać nie dbać

Bronić a skarbów chronić chronić Wy-gra-ja Wygraja Wygraja

Nie wygraja Nie wygra-ja
Brońmy Brońmy Brońmy Brońmy Brońmy

Niechaj nas znaja Nas niewiele a ich jest wiele
Bić Bić Bić Bić Bić Bić Bić siec bronić a nie przyjaciół gromić!

“The Song of Zebrzydowskiego’s Rebels”

Who seeks to steal our treasures?
He shall not succeed, shall not succeed! 

What shall we fear, shall we fear, shall we fear?
There is nothing to fear! 

Then force! Force has might, and who will challenge it, who? 
They want it by force? They won’t threaten us! 
O how they threaten. It means nothing. 
No, do not fear, but defend our treasures. 

They will win, will win, will win. 
No, they will not, will not, will not win! 
Let us defend, defend, defend,
And let them know who we are! 

We are few, they are numerous. 
Fight! Fight, fight, cut and defend.
And defeat the enemy! 

Translated by Marek Zebrowski.
Zart Lieb wie süß dein Anfang ist
Davon du erts enstspringst!
O herze Lieb, an arge List, trwelich zu Lieb verbindst,
Die mit mir grunt in frewden und bringt mir frewden vil:
Das End bringt mir groß leiden und sweres herzeleid.

Auß herczen tief und doch erfeufcz
Wen ich an sye gedenck
Wetrubet ist mir mein hercze
Vor Leid wind ich mein hende
Das ich mich schol erwegen
Der miniglichen Figur,
Dye ich mire hab auß er lessen
Auß aller creatur.

Pure Love, how sweet your beginning is
From which you first spring forth!
O dear heart, by cunning trickery, you are bound to love,
You come in joy and make me full of joy
The end brings me great suffering and heavy heartache

From a deep heart and yet joyful
When I remember him
MY heart is sorrowful
I wring my hands in sorrow
When I think about
that lovely figure
Whom I have chosen
Over all creatures.
Jezusa Judasz przedał za pieniądze nędzne,
Bog Ociec Syna wydal na zbawienie duszne.
Jezus kiedy wieczerzał, swe ciało rozdawał,
Apostoły swe smętne swoją krwią napawał.

Jezus w ogrodek wstąpił <z> swymi miłosniki,
Trzykroć się Oćcu modlił za wszytki grzeszniki;
Krwawy pot s niego płynął dla boju silnego.
Duszo miła, oględaj miłosnika twego!

Judas sold Jesus for meager money,
God the Father gave his Son for soul salvation.
Jesus, when he had supper, gave his body away,
He filled his sad apostles with his blood.

Jesus entered the garden with his lovers,
Three times he prayed to the Father for all sinners;
His bloody sweat flowed for a strong fight.
Dear soul, look at your lover!
Jesu, spes mea
Jesu solatium meum
Jesu refugium meum
Jesu desiderium meum
Jesu cor meum

Tu vita mea
Tu salus mea es
To solatium meum
Tu spes in vita mea
Tu refugium meum
Tu spes, tu vita,
tu refugium meum.

In te sperabo
Et reclamabo
Tibi cantabo
Te adorabo
Te invicabo
Tibi cord abo

Accipe Jesu cor meum
Accipe Jesu animam meum
Da Jesu cor tuum
Da Jesus animam tuum.

Ut mea iam non mea
Fiat voluntas
Per quam salva me
Per quam rege me
Per quam fove me
Perquam sana me mi Jesu

Jesus is my hope,
Jesus is my solace,
Jesus is my refuge,
Jesus is my desire,
Jesus is my heart,

You are my heart,
You are my savior,
You are my solace,
You are my hope in life,
You are my refuge,
You are hope, you are life,
you are my refuge.

In you I hope
And call to you,
I sing for you,
I adore you,
I invoke you,
I give you my heart.

Take my heart, Jesus,
Take my soul, Jesus,
Give Jesus your heart,
Give Jesus your soul,

I am no longer my own,
Thy will be done,
That you shall save me,
That you shall rule me,
That you shall save me,
And that you shall save me, my Jesus.

Translated by Adam Knight Gilbert
Już się zmierzcha, nadchodzi noc,
Poprośmy Boga o pomoc,
Aby On naszym stróżem był,
Od złych czartów nas obronił,
Którzy najwięcej w ciemności
Używają swej chytrości.

Jesu Kryste, Panie miły,

Tyś wszytki piekielne siły
Przez mękę swoję poraził,

A nam wieczny pokój sprawił.
Raczyż, miłosierny Panie,
Wysłyszeć nasze wołanie.

Daylight declines, the night advances
We ask the Lord for deliverance,
That He our guardian remain,
Protecting us from the evil domain of spirits
who always in the dark
Upon their treachery embark.

Christ Jesus, beloved Lord
You defeated the hell’s horde
By your great passion and pain
Eternal peace is our gain.
Consider, O Lord our zeal
And hear Thee our appeal.

Translated by Marek Zebrowski
Nunc dimittis servum tuum, Domine, secundum verbum tuum in pace:
Quia viderunt oculi mei salutare tuum
Quod parasti ante faciem omnium populorum:
Lumen ad revelationem gentium, et gloriam plebis tuae Israel.
Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto:
Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in sæcula sæculorum. Amen.

Now you let your servant go, O Lord, according to your word in peace:
Because my eyes have seen your greeting
That which was prepared before the face of all the peoples:
A light for the revelation of the nations, and the glory of your people Israel.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
As it was in the beginning, and now, and forever, and forever and ever. Amen.


Yue Qian, violin
Diana Dawydchak, violin
Prosper Luchart, viola
Eric Tinkerhess, cello
Mana Azimi, harp
Alejandro Acosta, guitar
Robert Wang, theorbo
Jason Yoshida, guitar*
Hejun Yang, harpsichord
Phillip Matsuura, harpsichord
Adam Gilbert, recorder*
Emily Lazernik, bassoon

Marina Hovhannisyan, voice
Eleanor Walters, voice
Mary Elder, voice
Jordan Jones, voice
Luis Lechuga-Espadas, voice
Evan Llafet, voice
Connor Scott, voice
Alex Kuncz, voice

*USC Thornton School of Music Faculty

USC Thornton Early Music Faculty

Adam Gilbert, Program Director
Jason Koji Yoshida, plucked strings
Rotem Gilbert, recorder
Jennifer Kampani, voice
Lot Demeyer, Baroque oboe
Maxine Eilander, triple harp
Ian Pritchard, harpsichord