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Collection of motets and other vocal music, mainly by Giovanni Battista Bassani and Giacomo Carissimi

 Single Item
MS. Mus. c. 590

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English copy of motets mainly by Bassani and Carissimi in the hand of Sampson Estwick (c 1656-1739), a chaplain at Christ Church 1679-1711 (see his autograph music in Christ Church Mus. 619); probably copied in the 1690s, at least in part from prints and manuscripts in the collections of Henry Aldrich and Richard Goodson Senior, although by no means all the items now have a source in the Christ Church collection. The volume may have been intended for use by the music club which met at the Mermaid Tavern in Oxford, of which Estwick was a member (see M. Crum, 'An Oxford music club, 1690-1719', Bodleian Library Record, 9/2 (1972), pp. 83-99).

According to the contents list (fols. ii-iii) the volume was divided up into three books (fols. 1-32, 33-134, 135-202), each separately paginated. The title on fol. 1, 'Bassani's motetts in score & several of Carissimi's', is in a later hand, which also supplied various corrections and annotations to the list of contents. A note on fol. i, referring to the publication in vol. 3 of R. J. S. Stevens's Sacred Music (1802) of the Sanctus from the Carissimi Mass 'with my permission', is in the hand of Robert Smith, and the Stevens volume cites it as printed 'from the M.S. of Robert Smith Esqr.' Another note on fol. i, 'N. Those with a x are in Mr. Awbery's books', is in the hand of Philip Hayes, and refers to the manuscripts now MSS. Mus. b. 2a,b. On a separate slip of paper (fol. iv) Smith noted down three Handel borrowings from Carissimi as identified by 'Dr. Crotch'. The volume also includes a few pencil notes by 'T.B.' (Thomas Busby?), dated 18 Sep 1801 (fols. 10v, 27v, 34v, 35v).

Contents (all motets, unless otherwise noted):

(a) (fols. 1-10) G. B. Bassani: Laudate pueri Dominum. For SAB, 2 violins and continuo;

(b) (fols. 10v-19) G. B. Bassani: Laetatus sum. For SAB, 2 violins and continuo;

(c) (fols. 19v-29) G. B. Bassani: Nisi Dominus. For SAB, 2 violins and continuo;

(d) (fols 29v-32v) G. Carissimi: O là pensieri. Cantata for B and continuo;

(e) (fols. 33-37) G. B. Bassani: Quid arma. 'Canticum' for S, 2 violins and continuo;

(f) (fols. 37-43v) G. B. Bassani: In hoc mundo inconstante. '3. Can[ticum]' for S, 2 violins and continuo;

(g) (fols. 44-51) G. B. Bassani: In caligine umbrosa.'Canticum 4' for S, 2 violins and continuo;

(h) (fols. 51v-56) G. B. Bassani: Gustate libate. For S, 2 violins and continuo;

(i) (fols. 56v-63) G. B. Bassani: Aligeri amores. For S, 2 violoncelli and continuo;

(j) (fols. 63v-68) G. B. Bassani: Chari Zephyri volantes. 'Canticum 9' for B, 2 violins and continuo;

(k) (fols. 68v-73) G. B. Bassani: Pompae vanae. 'Canticum decimum' for B, 2 violins and continuo;

(l) (fols. 73-76) G. B. Bassani: Audite reges et intelligite. 'Canticum 11' for B, 2 violins and continuo;

(m) (fols. 76v-82) G. B. Bassani: Eia tubae resonate. 'Canticum 12' for B, 2 violins and continuo;

(n) (fols. 82v-86) G. B. Bassani: Triumphasti palmas claras. 'Motetta' for S, 2 violins and continuo;

(o) (fols. 86v-90) G. B. Bassani: Carae harmoniae. 'Motetta 2da' for A, 2 violins and continuo;

(p) (fols. 90v-93) G. B. Bassani: Tubae ferales resonate. 'Motetta 4ta' for B, 2 violins and continuo;

(q) (fols. 93v-96) G. B. Bassani: Laetare filia principis. 'Motetta 6ta' for SS and continuo;

(r) (fols. 96-97v) G. B. Bassani: Quando tandem sponse care. 'Motetta 7ma' for SS and continuo;

(s) (fols. 97v-101v) G. B. Bassani: Gaude alma dilecta. 'Motetta 8va' for SSA and continuo;

(t) (fols. 103-105v) G. B. Bassani: Ride Tellus/Gaude coelum. For SB and continuo;

(u) (fols. 106-109) [G. B. Bassani]: O quam suave. For SSS and continuo;

(v) (fols. 109v-111) Bonifatio Gratiani: Jesu dulcedo cordium. For ATB and continuo;

(w) (fols. 111v-13v) [G. B. Bassani]: O splendida dies fulgore. For SB and continuo;

(x) (fols. 114-18) G. Carissimi: Dai più riposti. Cantata for SSB and continuo;

(y) (fols. 118v-23) G. Carissimi: Le ferite d'un cor. Cantata for SST and continuo;

(z) (fols. 123-126v) G. Carissimi: E pur vuole il cielo. Cantata for SS and continuo;

(aa) (fols. 127-128v) Alessandro Stradella[?]: Deh sgorgate in questo seno. Cantata for SB and continuo. Listed by Gianturco & McCrickard (Alessandro Stradella ... a thematic catalogue) as a doubtful work;

(bb) (fols. 135-139v) G. Carissimi: Exultabunt justi. For SSS and continuo;

(cc) (fols. 140-145) G. Carissimi: 'Salamonis judicium' [i.e. Judicium Salamonis]. Oratorio for SSTB, 2 violins and continuo;

(dd) (fols. 145v-151) G. Carissimi: Confitebor tibi Domine. For SSB and continuo;

(ee) (fols. 151v-163) G. Carissimi: [Mass 'Sciolto havean dall'alte sponde'], version for ATTB and continuo;

(ff) (fols. 163v-165v) G. Carissimi: Cantabo Domino. For SS and continuo;

(gg) (fols. 166-169v) [G. Carissimi?]: Oleum effusum est. For S and continuo. Under 'Doubtful and misattributed works' in New Grove;

(hh) (fols. 170-171) [F. M. Marini]: Anima mea liquefacta est. For SAB and continuo;

(ii) (fols. 171v-175) Tarquinio Merula: Nominativo hic. For SATB and continuo;

(jj) (fols. 175v-184) G. Carissimi: 'Jephtha' [i.e. Jephte]. Oratorio for SSSATB and continuo;

(kk) (fols. 184v-187) G. Carissimi: Ecce nos reliquimus omnia. For ATB and continuo;

(ll) (fols. 186v-187) [G. Carissimi]: Euge serve bone. For AT and continuo;

(mm) (fols. 187v-190) G. Carissimi: Anima nostra. For SS and continuo;

(nn) (fols. 189v-191) G. Carissimi[?]: Oh vita cui omnia vivunt. For A and continuo. Under 'Doubtful and misattributed works' in New Grove;

(oo) (fols. 190v-192) G. Carissimi: O quam mirabilia sunt. For SS and continuo;

(pp) (fols. 197-201v) G. Carissimi: Democritus et Heraclitus ('A pie d'un verde alloro'). Cantata for SS and continuo.

Items (e)-(m) are from Bassani's Metri sacra resi armonici, op. 8 (Bologna, 1690) and (n)-(s) from his Concerti sacri, op. 11 (Bologna, 1692).


  • Creation: [1690s]


207 Leaves

Language of Materials

  • English
  • Latin

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark, e.g. MS. Mus. c. 590, fols. 1-2].

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MS. Mus. c. 590

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 15942


Collection of motets and other vocal music, mainly by Giovanni Battista Bassani and Giacomo Carissimi. English copy in the hand of Sampson Estwick, [1690s].

Biographical / Historical

Giovanni Battista Bassani (c 1650-1716) was a composer, violinist and organist. See Grove Music Online for further details.

Giacomo Carissimi (1605-1674) was a composer, organist and teacher. See Grove Music Online for further details.

Custodial History

Sale of the library of William and Philip Hayes, 1798, lot 235. Presumably bought by Robert Smith (1741-1810). Former shelfmark (Faculty of Music Library): M.S.L. 13. c. 1.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred from the Faculty of Music Library, 1995.

Physical Facet

iv + 203 leaves (fols. 129-34v and fols. 192v-6v blank); 12 staves to a page. Watermark: Crowned Strasbourg lily with WR at foot and HG below; countermark: IB; similar to Heawood 1784, 1786, 1787, 1793, 1794. Binding: half calf with marbled paper boards.


Folio (367 × 240 mm)

Collection of motets and other vocal music, mainly by Giovanni Battista Bassani and Giacomo Carissimi
EAD version 2019 by Hannah Jordan and Margaret Czepiel
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom