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RC 39 Te Deum laudamus

text source

Joseph Kehrein, Lateinische Anthologie aus den christlichen Dichtern des Mittelalters (Frankfurt am Main: Sauerländer 1840), 47-48



  • Anniversary Edition 4 Et'cetera KTC 1435 CD4


  • Te Deum laudamus (vocal score) Noske, A.A. 1098150660
  • Te Deum laudamus / Hymnus Sancti Ambrosii / Duobus choris inaequalibus et quattuor vocibus solis, cum orchestrae concentu Noske, A.A. 1098150660

  • Te Deum laudamus
  • Milaan, Ambrosius van (Ambrosius of Miland)
  • soloists, two mixed choirs and orchestra
  • September 1, 1897 - December 1, 1897
  • duration ca. 20:00

Already in 1892 Diepenbrock made up his mind to write a Te Deum, but the first sketches do not date until May 1896. He actually wrote the piece between 1 September and 1 December 1897. Notes in two of the manuscripts indicate that Diepenbrock reworked the orchestration between 17 April and 8 June 1901. …more >

Te Deum, part 1 (incipit)
Te Deum, part 2 (incipit)

Already in 1892 Diepenbrock made up his mind to write a Te Deum, but the first sketches do not date until May 1896. He actually wrote the piece between 1 September and 1 December 1897. Notes in two of the manuscripts indicate that Diepenbrock reworked the orchestration between 17 April and 8 June 1901.

The work is for two mixed choirs that sometimes alternate with each other (following the antiphonal setup of the text) and sometimes join forces, or appear in their full eight-voice capacity. Like that of the definite version of the Missa in die festo (RC 27), Diepenbrock’s setup was inspired by the coro spezzato practice in the San Marco in Venice. This explains why he deploys the vocal soloists purely as a quartet. A large orchestra provides the ‘accompaniment’ and – like in Diepenbrock’s symphonic songs – often has an independent role.

The premiere took place in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw on Friday 10 January 1902. It was the final piece in the opening concert of the Three-Day Dutch Music Festival. The soloists were Aaltje Noordewier-Reddingius (soprano), Pauline de Haan-Manifarges (alto), Johan Rogmans (tenor) and Thom Denijs (bass), who was replacing Gerard Zalsman. The Toonkunst Choir Amsterdam and the Concertgebouw Orchestra were conducted by Willem Mengelberg. The press unanimously commended the work highly. Daniël de Lange expressed the general sentiment as follows:

The Te Deum by Diepenbrock [...] may be considered one of the most important works of the modern era. Rich in ideas, which were expressed through the development of several motives, rich in spirit, rich in sound effects of the most beautiful kind, rich in colour, one feels that this work was created, not written. And in the end, that is what it is all about. Right from the start, the artist captures the listener and it is not until the very end that his charm lets go of him. (BD III:641)

Already that same season, on 29 June 1902, a reprise took place in the Great Church in Naarden. It was initiated by Johan Schoonderbeek, conductor of the local branch of the Maatschappij tot Bevordering der Toonkunst (Society for the Stimulation of Music). Through the collaboration of the Toonkunst choirs from Amsterdam and three neighbouring towns, a double choir of 300 singers was formed. Schoonderbeek also had the Concertgebouw Orchestra and the vocal quartet that had already sung the work (this time with Zalsman) at his disposal. The two performances mark Diepenbrock’s final breakthrough in the Netherlands; in her exceptional way the composer and singing teacher Catharina van Rennes (1858-1940) voiced the great respect he enjoyed from his colleagues since then: I thought he was still on do, and indeed, there he has already ascended to si. (BD III:649).

Diepenbrock’s programme notes

In his programme notes for the premiere, Diepenbrock says the following about the text and the melody inextricably linked to it:

The Te Deum laudamus is a hymn of thanksgiving which is traditionally attributed to the Holy Ambrose (340-397), but whose authorship is by no means certain. This mighty poem is written in free verse – rhythmic prose – and it is certainly some of the oldest Christian poetry. The melody to which this poem is sung in the Catholic Church to this very day, is most likely of a still earlier date. (BD III:639)

Diepenbrock used the Gregorian melody – “certainly just as mighty as the text” – literally in two places: in the section starting with the words “Te gloriosus Apostolorum chorus” (three successive lines) and in the section with the phrases “Tu ad liberandum suscepturus hominem” and “Tu devicto mortis aculeo”. There is also a motivic resemblance between the “Te ergo quaesumus” theme of the second part of the composition and the opening of the liturgical Te Deum laudamus. Apart from this – as one can read in a letter that Diepenbrock wrote to his friend J.C. Hol shortly before the premiere – I (sadly) derived nothing from those fantastic melodies. So there is a relationship with Gregorian Chant, but always within the limits of modern music. (BD III:336)

Diepenbrock said about the background of his ideas and the intention of this work:

Like in my other music, the rhythm of the language is the main regulator of the movement. […] Of course it is not intended for the church or for the concert hall, but suppose there was a moment of great thanksgiving for the people […], then it could be used for such a panegyrical thanksgiving. It should then express the outburst of gratitude after victory. (ibid.)

In keeping with the terminology Friedrich Nietzsche developed in Die Geburt der Tragödie aus dem Geiste der Musik (The Birth of Tragedy from the Spirit of Music, 1872), Diepenbrock called his Te Deum dramatic music. He labelled the descending tetrachord, which occurs in the bass from m. 5, the so-called ‘orchestic’ element: It expresses the advance of humanity that, after victory, voices its gratitude, singing in a festive procession. (ibid.)

The composer considered the fanfare-like theme that opens the Te Deum laudamus, which is characterised by a fiery dissonant grace note in m. 3 (the interval ab g dissolves into the consonant ab-f in the following measure), a symbol of internal and external strife. He repeats this theme “as an echo” at the end of the first part. In part two, in which most of the text is a supplication, this theme several times gives this supplication a special accent. According to Diepenbrock, towards the end of the composition the theme sounds as a “climax”, as though it were a “cry”. But when the choir has finally sung its trust in God, the instrumental main theme is purified into pure triads, which form the epilogue to the whole work. (BD III:337)

Festive procession

The first part of Diepenbrock’s setting of the text fully realises his idea of “a festive procession”, introduced by an energetic fanfare (with an accent of pain), supported by an ever repeated descending tetrachord. The soprano melody of the opening line “Te Deum laudamus” (Thee, O God, we praise), sung by both choirs, ascends jubilantly; on the words “Te Dominum confitemur” (We acknowledge Thee to be the Lord) it is the rhythm that highlights the power of the statement. The praise, lavished from all directions by the heavenly host of angels, cherubim and seraphim, is musically depicted by the alternatim use of the choirs.

Several times four solo voices step out of the collectivity, extracting themselves from the multitude, in order to sing essential parts of the text from their own personal, emotional involvement: “Tibi omnes Angeli” (To thee all Angels); the word “Sanctus” – ecstatically sung three times on an alternative setting of the “Te Deum laudamus” entry of the choir; “Pleni sunt caeli et terra majestatis gloriae tuae” (Heaven and earth are full of the Majesty of Thy glory) and “Sanctum quoque Paraclitum Spiritum” (Also the Holy Ghost, the Comforter). Following the threefold “Sanctus”, an orchestral intermezzo, based on the descending tetrachord but now in a higher register, illustrates the never-ending praise of the celestials. Against this backdrop, a drawn-out melody unfolds, first played by the cellos and the violas, then by various combinations of woodwinds in wide register, suggesting an enormous spatiality. After a sudden crescendo, culminating in a dissonant chord played fff by the brass and woodwinds (the ‘pain’ chord of the fanfare theme), the song of praise of the apostles, prophets and martyrs sounds alternately from the right and the left. The choirs join forces when the Church unanimously and worldwide professes God’s majesty.

Diepenbrock’s setting of the praise of the Son and the Holy Ghost is much more intimate. A short instrumental link, again based on the descending tetrachord, leads back to the main key of C major, and the words addressed to Christ the Son of God are sung in the same setting as the very first sentences in which the choir invoked God the Father. This passage is followed by a much-abbreviated repeat of the tetrachord motive in combination with the drawn-out melody (now played by the trumpets and the trombones), in which the dissonant harmony once again draws attention. A strongly delivered “Tu devicto mortis aculeo” (When thou hadst overcome the sharpness of death) is followed by twelve entries on the word “aperuisti” in an ascending sequence, which introduce the ‘message’ that Christ has opened the Kingdom of Heaven where he sits at the right hand of God to all believers. After the last line of text of the first section, in which belief in Christ as future judge is conveyed, the opening fanfare is heard two more times in the distance; then the procession comes to a standstill in prayer, symbolised by a fermata on a dominant-seventh chord.

From supplication to hope and trust

The second part opens with a twenty-measure instrumental Molto adagio that starts sedate, but soon develops emotionally. Then, using the same melodic material, the quartet of soloists prays to the Redeemer for help in the “Te ergo quaesumus”. Choir I expresses the desire to be accepted in glory everlasting; together the two choirs voice the question of the people to save and bless the heritage. This is followed by the orchestra playing a short melody four times in succession, each time a major second higher – a passage that is related to the sequence on the word “aperuisti” in the first part. The line “Et rege eos et extolle illos usque in aeternum” (Govern them and lift them up for ever) leads to an extensive musical paraphrase of the Molto adagio prayer, in which the descending tetrachord comes to the foreground.

After two lines of praise by the choir, the solo voices continue the supplication: “Dignare Domine die isto sine peccato nos custodire.” (Vouchsafe, O Lord, to keep us this day without sin). A new melody in the orchestra aptly expresses these feelings. Then the choirs join in with the phrase “Miserere nostri Domine” (O Lord, have mercy upon us) and the plea for mercy “Fiat misericordia tua super nos” (O Lord, let thy mercy lighten upon us), which is repeated softer, yet more insistently by eight-part choir.

A timpani roll links the final chord of the choirs with the following ‘section’ by the solo voices, expressing the first gleam of hope of redemption with the words “quemadmodum speravimus in Te” (as our trust is in Thee). Suddenly the fanfare motive sounds in the distance and against this the choir intones the same text as the soloists. Then an orchestral intermezzo brings nearer the return of trust in the future, which is finally confirmed in the absolute certainty of the line “In te Domine speravi, non confundar in aeternum” (O Lord, in thee have I trusted, let me never be confounded), sung by both choirs. As the closing words are repeated several times, heavenly vistas open up in the orchestra. After the impressive, unaccompanied final measures of the choir (a literal repeat of the finale of the first part), the composition ends with the opening of the initial fanfare, combined with the descending tetrachord, set against the backdrop of a C major chord that slowly fades away: the panegyric vision dissolves into endless space.


After Les elfes (The Elves, RC 21) and the three choral songs from Vondel’s Gijsbrecht van Aemstel (RC 30, 31 and 33), this is the fifth work in which Diepenbrock employed a large instrumental ensemble. By then he was well aware that orchestral instrumentation is diametrically opposed to the sound ideals he had tried to realise in the organ part of his Missa (RC 27). With all the experience he had gained in the period 1899-1910, when he not only composed his major works for solo voice and orchestra, but also orchestrated the original piano and organ accompaniments of fourteen songs, he continued to revise the orchestration of the Te Deum laudamus. Other more recent compositional achievements also made the composer increasingly critical about the technical execution of this work. When in 1908 Diepenbrock made an entirely new score, he also rewrote most of the vocal parts. He also prescribed how the composition should be performed by adding numerous tempo and execution directions in a way bordering on mannerism. At last he was satisfied:

The composition has remained entirely unchanged, only a few measures have been added here and there; sometimes it was too concise, but the anxious and academic instrumentation and voice-leading have made way for a rich and lively sound. 3 orchestral parts have been added: 3rd Oboe, 4th Trumpet, Double bassoon. This was very necessary indeed. (BD V:571)

Nevertheless, after that the composer would continue to critically review his new score every so often.

Later performances

Two of the performances during Diepenbrock’s lifetime took place abroad. On 14 November 1910 Iwan Fröbe, conductor of the Stern’sche Gesangverein in Berlin, performed the Te Deum in the concert hall of the Singakademie with the Blüthner Orchestra. As the quality of the choir, orchestra and three of the soloists was mediocre, Diepenbrock thought the performance was all right considering the circumstances. (BD VII:67) On 4 April 1912 Willem Mengelberg conducted a program with the Te Deum by the Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Amsterdam Toonkunst Choir and the soloists Noordewier, De Haan-Manifarges, Urlus and Zalsman in the Saalbau in Frankfurt. It was a moving performance and the audience was very enthusiastic.

Seven years later, the work was performed in a very special context. On 8 July 1919 a manifestation took place in the Concertgebouw in celebration of the end of the First World War. It was an initiative of Diepenbrock and several other members of the League of Neutral Countries, of which he was a member. Immediately after the armistice of 11 November 1918, Diepenbrock started organising a ‘Peace Evening’, at which the Hymne à la Justice (Hymn to Justice) by Albéric Magnard (who had been fusilladed in 1914) and his own Te Deum were to be performed. There were also to be several speeches. The preparations took a lot of time as singers from five different choirs – also from Belgium – were participating. So more or less coincidentally, the Treaty of Versailles had just been signed a week and a half before the Peace Evening. This came as a huge relief for the organisation, as right until the end it was uncertain whether the Germans would indeed sign the peace treaty.

It was a memorable evening. After an introduction, in which the chairman of the Netherlands section of the league sketched the future of a new Europe without war, Evert Cornelis conducted Magnard’s Hymne. This was followed by a long speech. Then the Te Deum was performed under Diepenbrock. According to Matthijs Vermeulen, the trumpet introduction and its poignant dissonants are so in keeping with the time, as an immense liberation. The critic thought Diepenbrock, who was motivated by his intense joy of the end of the war, was exceptionally inspired:

Never had Diepenbrock been seen as the conductor of hundreds of musicians on one stage and as a conductor of fulgurant music that keeps on bursting out with the most fiery sounds, such as his Te Deum. So we did not know that this “artist-philosopher” […] had such a fantastic and forceful gesturing. With such nervous and sharp lines, which attempted to draw every note, even the unwritten ones, in the emptiness of the air, it would also have seemed impossible that the singing and performing masses could be driven to such an orderly result. Diepenbrock invented his Te Deum with rapidly changing tempos, with the most unexpected chiaroscuro of effects and the performing groups appeared to be taking part in a hymnic pilgrimage. He improvised the song of praise as if he was writing it anew. And as improvised as it all sounded within the general context, so true and warm, so compelling were the sound, and the ardour were bursting from the large groups of choir, soloists and orchestra. (BD X:438)

Jaap van Benthem & Ton Braas

U, God, prijzen wij; U, Heer, belijden wij.
U, eeuwige Vader, vereert de ganse aarde.
U roepen alle engelen, tot U de hemelen en alle heerscharen,
Tot U de Cherubijnen en Serafijnen met onophoudelijk stem:
Driewerf heilig is de Heer, God Sabaoth!
Vol zijn de hemelen en de aarde van de heerlijkheid Uwer majesteit.

U prijst het roemrijke koor der Apostelen,
De lofwaardige schaar der Profeten,
De in witte gewaden gehulde legermacht der Martelaren.
U belijdt over de aarde de heilige Kerk:
U, de Vader van mateloze majesteit;
En Uw aanbiddelijke, waarachtige en enige Zoon;
Als ook de Vertrooster, de Heilige Geest.
Gij, Christus, Koning der glorie,
Gij zijt de eeuwige Zoon des Vaders.
Gij hebt, om de mens te bevrijden, de menselijke natuur willen aannemen
en de schoot ener Maagd niet versmaad.
Gij hebt de prikkel des doods overwonnen
en aan de gelovigen het rijk des hemels geopend.
Gij zit aan de rechterhand Gods, in de glorie des Vaders.
Gij wordt geloofd, als rechter te zullen verschijnen.

Wij bidden U dus: kom Uwen dienaren ter hulp,
die Gij met uw kostbaar bloed hebt verlost.
Maak, dat wij met Uwe heiligen in de eeuwige glorie verzameld worden.

Maak Uw volk zalig, o Heer,
en zegen Uw erfdeel.
En bestuur en verhef hen tot in eeuwigheid.
Alle dagen prijzen wij U,
En wij loven Uwen naam, van eeuwigheid tot eeuwigheid.
Verwaardig U, o Heer, op deze dag ons vrij van zonde bewaren.
Erbarm U onzer, o Heer, erbarm U onzer.
Moge Uw ontferming over ons komen, Heer,
zoals wij op U onze hoop hebben gesteld.
Op U, Heer, heb ik gehoopt,
niet in eeuwigheid zal mijn vertrouwen geschokt worden.

Te Deum laudamus; te Dominum confitemur.
Te æternum Patrem omnis terra veneratur.
Tibi omnes angeli, tibi cæli: et universæ potestates,
Tibi Cherubim et Seraphim incessabili voce proclamant:
Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus Dominus Deus Sabaoth.
Pleni sunt cæli et terra majestatis gloriæ tuæ.

Te gloriosus Apostolorum chorus,
Te Prophetarum laudabilis numerus,
Te Martyrum candidatus laudat exercitus.
Te per orbem terrarum sancta confitetur Ecclesia:
Patrem immensæ majestatis;
Venerandum tuum, verum, et unicum Filium;
Sanctum quoque Paraclitum Spiritum.
Tu Rex gloriæ, Christe,
Tu Patris sempiternus es Filius.
Tu ad liberandum suscepturus hominem,
non horruisti Virginis uterum.
Tu devicto mortis aculeo,
aperuisti credentibus regna cælorum.
Tu ad dexteram Dei sedes, in gloria Patris.
Judex crederis, esse venturus.

Te ergo quæsumus, tuis famulis subveni,
quos pretioso sanguine redemisti;
Aeterna fac cum Sanctis tuis in gloria numerari.

Salvum fac populum tuum Domine,
et benedic hereditati tuæ.
Et rege eos, et extolle illos, usque in æternum.
Per singulos dies, benedicimus te,
et laudamus nomen tuum in sæculum et in sæculum sæculi.
Dignare Domine die isto sine peccato nos custodire.
Miserere nostri Domine, miserere nostri.
Fiat misericordia tua Domine super nos,
quem admodum speravimus in te.
In te Domine speravi;
non confundar in æternum.

rhymed translation:

Holy God, we praise Thy Name
Lord of all we bow before Thee;
all on earth Thy scepter claim,
all in heaven above adore Thee;
infinite Thy vast domain,
everlasting is Thy reign.
Hark, the loud celestial hymn
angel choirs above are raising;
Cherubim and Seraphim
in unceasing chorus praising,
fill the heavens with sweet accord:
Holy, Holy, Holy Lord!
Lo, the Apostolic train
join, Thy sacred name to hallow:
prophets swell the loud refrain,
and the white-robbed Martyrs follow;
and, from morn till set of sun,
through the Church the song goes on.
Holy Father, Holy Son,
Holy Spirit, Three we name Thee,
while in essence only One,
undivided God we claim Thee:
and, adoring, bend the knee
while we own the mystery.
Thou art King of glory, Christ:
Son of God, yet born of Mary;
for us sinners sacrificed,
and to death a tributary:
first to break the bars of death,
Thou has opened heaven to faith.
From Thy high celestial home,
Judge of all, again returning,
we believe that Thou shalt come
in the dreaded Doomsday morning;
when Thy voice shall shake the earth,
and the startled dead come forth.

Therefore do we pray Thee, Lord:
help Thy servants whom, redeeming
by Thy Precious Blood out-poured,
Thou hast saved from Satan's scheming.
Give to them eternal rest
in the glory of the Blest.
Spare Thy people, Lord, we pray,
by a thousand snares surrounded:
keep us without sin today,
never let us be confounded.
Lo, I put my trust in Thee;
never, Lord, abandon me.

  • A-23 Te Deum laudamus (full score)

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    full score A-23 dated on the title page Gecomponeerd door Alphons Diepenbrock (1 Sept – 1 Dec 1897. / op nieuw geheel overgewerkt 27 April – 27 Sept. 1908.) and on the last page 28 Aug 1908 Amsterdam. / gecomponeerd 1 Sept – Dec 1897 / instrumentatie overgewerkt 17 April – Juni 1901. / Op nieuw geheel overgewerkt 28 April – 28 Aug 1908 / copie 29 September 1908 nagezien

    • April 27, 1908 – September 28, 2908
    • location: Diepenbrock Archief Laren
    • pages: 98
  • A-21(3) Te Deum laudamus / Hymnus St. Ambrosii / voor 2 Koren (cori spezzati) 4 Solostemmen en Orkest (vocal score)

    vocal score A-21(3) entitled Te Deum laudamus / Hymnus St. Ambrosii / voor 2 Koren (cori spezzati) 4 Solostemmen en Orkest and dated on the last page gecomp 1 Sept – 1 Dec 1897 / Klavieruittreksel 8 Juni 1898. AD Amsterdam

    • September 1, 1897 – June 8, 1898
    • location: Diepenbrock Archief Laren
    • pages: unknown
  • A-22 Te Deum laudamus (full score)

    full score A-22 with dedication Aan mijn vriend Charles Smulders December 1897 and dated on the title page 1 Sept – 1 Dec 1897 and on the last page 1 Septbr – 1 Dec 1897 / A Diepenbrock 8 Juni 1901

    • September 1, 1897 – June 8, 1901
    • dedication: Aan mijn vriend Charles Smulders December 1897
    • location: Diepenbrock Archief Laren
    • pages: unknown
  • A-24 Te Deum laudamus

    semi-autograph full score A-24 dated on the first page 1 Sept – 1 Dec 1897

    • September 1, 1897 – December 1, 1897
    • location: Diepenbrock Archief Laren
    • pages: unknown
  • A-25 Te Deum laudamus

    semi-autograph full score A-25

    • location: Diepenbrock Archief Laren
    • pages: unknown
  • A-27 Te Deum laudamus (vocal score)

    vocal score A-27 dated on the title page Klavieruittreksel Overgewerkt Mei 1908 – Jan 1909 and on the last page 30 Jan 1909

    • May 1, 1908 – January 30, 1909
    • location: Diepenbrock Archief Laren
    • pages: unknown
  • A-28 Te Deum laudamus (vocal score)

    copy vocal score A-28, copied from A-21(3)

    • location: Diepenbrock Archief Laren
    • pages: unknown
  • A-34(2) Te Deum laudamus (vocal score)

    semi-autograph vocal score A-34(2) with dedication on the title page Aan Jo van AD Octob 1908

    • October 1, 1908
    • dedication: Aan Jo van AD
    • location: Diepenbrock Archief Laren
    • pages: unknown
  • HGM 184/223 Te Deum laudamus (full score)

    emi-autograph full score HGM 184/223 (NMI, archive Willem Mengelberg) with dedication on the fly leaf Aan mijn vriend Willem Mengelberg schenk ik deze partituur in hartelijke dankbaarheid voor en ter herinnering aan de heerlijke uitvoering van dit werk op den eersten avond van het driedaagsch Nederlandsch muziekfeest 10 Jan 1902 Alfons Diepenbrock and with remark written by Mengelberg on the reverse side of the fly leaf 20' moet het duren volgens Diep.

    • dedication: Aan mijn vriend Willem Mengelberg schenk ik deze partituur in hartelijke dankbaarheid voor en ter herinnering aan de heerlijke uitvoering van dit werk op den eersten avond van het driedaagsch Nederlandsch muziekfeest 10 Jan 1902 Alfons Diepenbrock
    • location: Nederlands Muziek Instituut, archive Willem Mengelberg
    • pages: unknown

Te Deum - Eduard van Beinum leidt het Concertgebouworkest in deze uitvoering van 7 december 1956 ter gelegenheid van het zilveren jubileum van de dirigent.

  • click to enlarge

    Anniversary Edition 4

    cd Et'cetera KTC 1435 CD4
    Concertgebouworkest ♦ Bartelink, Bernard ♦ Radio Symfonie Orkest ♦ Spanjaard, Ed ♦ Netherlands Radio Choir ♦ Bogtman, Laurens ♦ Brand, Tom ♦ Kerkhoff, Martha van ♦ Lugt, Elisabeth ♦ Westbroek, Eva-Maria ♦ Toonkunst Koor Amsterdam ♦ Apollo Choir Soest ♦ Beinum, Eduard van

    Tracks: 1 = RC 31; 2 = RC 30; 3-5 = RC 70; 6 = RC 39; 7-8 = RC 116

  • Te Deum laudamus (vocal score)

    1922 Noske, A.A.
  • Te Deum laudamus / Hymnus Sancti Ambrosii / Duobus choris inaequalibus et quattuor vocibus solis, cum orchestrae concentu

    1924 Noske, A.A.

10 jan 1902: Eerste uitvoering van het Te Deum in het Concertgebouw te Amster­dam als besluit van de eerste dag van het Driedaagsch Nederlandsch Muziekfeest op 10, 11 en 12 januari 1902. Willem Mengelberg dirigeert het Concertgebouw-Orkest en het Amsterdamsche Toonkunst-Koor, als solisten werken mede Aaltje Noordewier-Reddingius, Pauline de Haan-Manifarges, Johan Rogmans en Thom Denijs (invallend voor Gerard Zalsman, die ziek is geworden). Vooraf gaan de Koninginnemarsch van E. von Brucken-Fock, Voorspelen tot en Reien uit Vondels Gysbrecht van Aemstel van Bernard Zweers, na de pauze Chant d'Amour en Rosch-Haschana van Carl Smulders (solist Isaac Mossel, violoncel).

Het Te Deum van Diepenbrock, dat wij bij deze gelegenheid leerden kennen, mag beschouwd worden als een der belangrijkste werken van den modernen tijd. — Rijk aan gedachten, die tot uiting komen door de verwerking van enkele motieven, rijk aan zieleleven, rijk aan klankeffecten van de schoonste soort, rijk aan schakeeringen, voelt men dat dit werk geschapen, niet gemaakt is. En ten slotte, daarop komt het aan. Van het eerste oogenblik af neemt de kunstenaar den hoorder gevangen en eerst aan het einde laat zijn bekoring hem los. Na een breeden pompeuzen opzet met vol orkest en koor, afgewisseld met een driemaal herhaald “Sanctus” door de solisten, ontwikkelt de componist een eerste deel van buitengewone afmetingen, waarin verheffingen en dalingen aan de hand van den tekst in hartverheffende stemming brengen. — Na een eenigszins uitgebreid tusschenspel voor orkest zingen de vier solostemmen met groote teederheid de woorden: “Te ergo quaesumus, tuis famulis subveni, quos pretioso sanguine redemisti”. De indruk van deze tonen is onuitsprekelijk groot. Daarna treedt het koor weder in. Weder wordt voortgesponnen aan den draad van heilige, geestdriftvolle en poëzievolle gewaarwordingen. Een oogenblik: “Per singulos dies benedicimus te”, worde hier in herinnering gebracht. Zeldzaam waar gevoeld is de muzikale uitdrukking van deze woorden. — Heerlijk schoon is ook het gedeelte “Dignare Domine” enz. voor solostemmen. Na dit hoogtepunt verzwakt een weinig de indruk. De intentie schijnt te zijn den hoorder langzamerhand uit de hoogere stemming te doen afdalen. — Hoe dit zij, Diepenbrock, wiens naam reeds zeer hoog aangeschreven stond, heeft door dit werk ten volle getriompheerd. Hij is voortaan “onze Kerel”, meer dan man: “een Kerel”.

Het Nieuws van den Dag (Dan. de Lange), 11 januari 1902

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