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Jan Campanus Vodňanský (originally Kumpan from Vodňany, the town in which he was born), Czech humanist, composer, pedagogue, poet and dramatist studied at University of Prague in 1596 and was made Master of Liberal Arts there. He became a teacher in Prague and Kutná Hora. From 1603 he taught Greek and Latin at the University of Prague. He also taught history and Latin poetry. He was repeatedly appointed as dean, prorector, and rector of this university.

 
Campanus was a Hussite before renouncing this faith and becoming a Catholic in 1622, dying later in the year on December 13, 1622 in Prague. He is known for his metrical versions of the psalms modelled on the versified psalms of his colleague Vavřinec Benedikti z Nudožer. Campanus called his psalms Psalmi poenitentiales (Penitential Psalms) and published them in 1604.
 
Campanus usually wrote his works in Latin, but also wrote occasionally in Czech, Greek, and German. Some of his works, like the play Břetislav und Jitka (Bretislaus) (1614), were forbidden, because they were critical of the dukes of Bohemia. His works were recognized in Europe for their metrical perfection.
 
He made simple four-part settings of psalms taken from the the fourth edition of his Psalmi poenitentiales (1611) and published them under the title Sacrarum odarum, libri duo, quorum prior psalmos Davidicos (Frankfurt 1618). Traces of modalism and 16th-century methods are found in his works. “Rorando Coeli” is written homophonically for double choir (antecedent) overlapping closely with the second choir (consequent) in the final section. The original was in the key of C but has been transposed to A major to provide a better tessitura for contemporary choirs.
 
This work is most effectively performed with a solo quartet singing the echo standing at a distance from the choir. Utilize the accoustics of your performing area to the best advantage in bringing alive this work created 400 years ago!