Simão dos Anjos de Gouveia • Pueri Hebraeorum

This is one of the Pueri Hebraeorum antiphons for Palm Sunday, the Pueri Hebraeorum vestimenta. The setting is by Portuguese composer Simão dos Anjos de Gouveia. Gouveia is known to have flourished around 1611. According to Robert Stevenson (New Grove article) he studied at Évora Cathedral with Manuel Mendes and, around 1600 he joined the order of S. João Evangelista, succeeding Pedro Thalesio as chapel master at the Hospital de Todos-os-Santos in Lisbon. in 1611 he travelled to Coimbra and around 1622 he was head of music at S. João Baptista in Tomar.

This Pueri Hebraeorum comes from an interesting choir book – P-EVp Cód. CLI/1-3 (subject to an excellent study by Portuguese musicologist João Pedro d’Alvarenga) that is now preserved in very poor state at Évora Public Library due to ink corrosion of the paper. Stevenson mentions other two works: the five-voice hymn O lingua mens sensus vigor and a four-voice Alleluia (both in the P-AR polyphonic choir book), but failed to identified a four-voice setting of Jesu Redemptor preserved in a choir book that originates from the Convent of Espinheiro, in the outskirts of Évora.

The Pueri Hebraorum is a very nice work. The imitation is very clear, with a descending phrase that causes some beautiful dissonances from the upper to lower voices, which is quite enjoyable to sing. He sets the “Hosanna Filio David” in triple-time, which gives this brief passage a sort of laudatory character, resuming the early metre at the last phrase which ends with a nice cadence.

I performed this work a couple years ago with Ensemble Eborensis at the Church of the monastery of S. Bento de Cástris, 20 September 2014, during the closing concert of the Residência Cisterciense S. Bento de Cástris. The audio recording is from that concert.


5 Comments Add yours

  1. gelsobianco says:

    Thank you for the study by Portuguese musicologist João Pedro d’Alvarenga too.
    All is very interesting,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He was my teacher. It’s a great article.


      1. gelsobianco says:

        I will read it with interest
        You are very kind.
        Have a nice week
        gb :)



    lovely! where does this come in the Palm Sunday liturgy?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Alastair. This is the second antiphon (here as a motet) for the procession of palms during Palm Sunday, the first one being “Puer Hebraeorum portantes”.
      all best


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