Victoria wrote two settings of ‘Ave Regina caelorum‘ a five-part setting published in Venice in 1576 by Angelo Gardane and the eight-part setting that is the subject of this posting which was published in Rome in 1581 by Dominico Basa. Victoria starts with some loose paraphrasis of the Compline plainsong to create an impressive chordal structure which gives way to a more lively passage at ‘ex qua mundo lux est orta’ (from whence came the light of the world) closing the first half of the motet. The second part of the motet starts with joyful triple-time antiphonal exchanges calling upon the Virgin to rejoice and hailing her as glorious and and splendid above all others. The motet ends by bidding farewell to the ‘most gracious one’ beseeching her in wonderful eight-part counterpoint to ‘plead always for us with Christ’. It’s sung below by Westminster Cathedral Choir conducted by Matin Baker. Enjoy :-).
Text & Translation: Ave Regina caelorum a 8
|Ave Regina caelorum. Ave Domina angelorum.||Hail, Queen of Heaven. Hail, mistress of the angels.|
|Salve radix sancta, ex qua mundo lux est orta.||Hail, holy root from whence came the light of the world.|
|Gaude gloriosa, super omnes speciosa.||Rejoice, O glorious one, splendid above all other.|
|Vale valde decora, |
et pro nobis semper Christum exora.
|Farewell, most gracious one, |
and plead always for us with Christ.