Richard Dering was born between 1575-85. Little is known of his early life but he spent some time in Italy after 1610, soon converting to the Catholic faith. After several years in Antwerp he returned to England in 1625 as Organist to Henrietta, wife of Charles I. He died in London in 1630.
Although he wrote a little Anglican church music as well as secular works he is remembered chiefly for his Catholic church music most of which appeared in several publications, with basso continuo in the latest manner. The Cantica Sacra were printed in Antwerp in 1618 and comprise twenty-one motets, all for six voices. A second edition was published in 1634. The motets seem to have been designed for general, even extra-liturgical, use as reflected in the collection's sub-title 'ad melodiam madrigalium elaborata'. In their musical language they resemble the music of composers such as Sweelinck and Peter Philips who were writing in the Netherlands at this time, but Dering's voice is bolder. Stylistic features in these motets include rhythmic energy, variety of texture and contrast between imitation and homophony, but the set is less emotionally intense than Italianate music of the period - as in Dering's own Cantiones sacrae of 1617, probably composed when he was in Rome.
The text of Jubilate Deo universa terra is from the Offertory for the Second Sunday after Epiphany and also the Fourth Sunday after Easter but the motet is suitable for general use when a festive work is needed.
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