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Plange quasi virgo (1611)

Part of a series or song cycle:

Tenebrae Responsories for Holy Saturday

Plange quasi virgo

Plange quasi virgo, plebs mea,
ululate, pastores, in cinere et cilicio
quia veniet dies Domini magna et amara valde.
Accingite vos, sacerdotes, et plangite, ministri altaris,
aspergite vos cinere.
Quia veniet dies Domini magna et amara valde.

Weep like a virgin

Weep like a virgin, my people,
howl, keepers of the flock, covered with ashes and wearing hair-shirts,
for the great and very bitter day of the Lord will come.
Prepare yourselves, priests, and lament, acolytes before the altar, cover yourselves with ashes.
For the great and very bitter day of the Lord will come.

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Carlo Gesualdo da Venosa was Prince of Venosa and Count of Conza. He is best known for composing intensely expressive madrigals and pieces of sacred music. Several operas and pieces of music have been inspired by his work and his life, particularly the jealous murder of his wife and her lover upon discovering their affair.

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