Introito del Mercoledì delle Ceneri (Leonardo Leo)

Tropp Music Editions

  • $ 3.50

Introit, Tract, and Gradual for Ash Wednesday, written for the Real Cappella di Napoli in 1744. Scored for SATB and Continuo.

I. Misereris omnium, Domine (2:00)
II. Miserere mei Deus (1:15)
III. Misit de cælo (1:15)
IV. Adjuva nos, Deus (2:00)

This product is available as a "Realized" Score, which functions as both a full and a vocal score.

Standard part set includes two copies of the unrealized continuo part.

Realized part set includes realized parts for organ and violoncello.

This Misereris omnium is an excellent example of the stile antico that was generally used during Lent in the Neapolitan churches and chapels. However, Leo was never afraid to bend rules as the texture of this piece calls to mind the Renaissance masters, but the harmonies keep the listener firmly planted in the eighteenth century. In the months immediately following this composition, Leo would compose a series of a cappella compositions with continuo like this one but leaving the stile antico behind. This hybrid style was Leo’s attempt to reform church music, and several pieces from this set would be held up as a model for church composition for well over fifty years.

The piece was apparently written for the Ash Wednesday mass on 19 February 1744, only twenty-five days after Domenico Sarro’s death opened the door for Leo to become maestro di cappella of this esteemed organization. Although the title page identifies the piece as only an Introit, the four sections of this work actually comprise the Introit, Gradual, and latter part of the Tract for this mass.

Although the continuo line generally implies accompaniment by both organ and a bass instrument, the piece may have been sung with organ alone in the chapel and can be done effectively that way. Modern choirs may even choose to perform this piece without accompaniment. For other performance considerations, please consult the “Performance Tools” section of the Galant Masters Project website:

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