The Marian Music of Tomás Luis de Victoria Part 11: Magnificat septimi toni

Madonna with the Child (Luis de Morales circa 1520-1586) Victoria wrote eighteen settings of the Magnificat of which sixteen are four-part settings and two are large-scale polychoral works setting all the verses of the canticle after an opening plainsong intonation. The Magnificat septimi toni which you can hear below sung by the Westminster Cathedral Choir conducted by Martin Baker is one of the polychoral settings. It’s preceded by a a short plainsong antiphon ‘Gabriel Angelus’ and opens with a brief intonation of the  word ‘magnificat’.  Thereafter Victoria sets it alternatim – the odd-numbered verses are polyphonic while the even-numbered ones are plainsong. It’s mostly SATB but Victoria adds variety by employing reduced forces, ATB or SAT, in some places. It’s quite an intimate piece of music very fugal in styles with many of its motifs derived from  from the plainsong. It’s a setting I greatly admire and often listen to. I enjoy the triple-time setting he uses for both ‘Suscepit Israel …’ and the final  verse plainsong verse but the higlight for me is how in the five-part setting of Gloria (Gloria Patri …) the trebles sing the plainsong in gloriously soaring long notes above the lower voices’ polyphony. It takes a really good choir who know what they’re about to bring this off but when they do – oh my. Victoria ends and brings us gently back to earth by having the choir repeat the last plainsong verse followed by a repetition of the antiphon. Enjoy :-).

markfromireland


Text &  Translation: Magnificat

LatinModern English TranslationTraditional English Translation
Gabriel Angelus locutus est Mariae dicens:
Ave gratia plena. Dominus tecum:
benedicta tu in mulieribus.
The angel Gabriel spoke to Mary saying:
Hail, thou art full of grace. The Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
The angel Gabriel spoke to Mary saying:
Hail, thou art full of grace. The Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
Magnificat anima mea Dominum.
Et exsultavit spiritus meus in Deo salutari meo.
Quia respexit humilitatem
ancillae suae:
ecce enim ex hoc beatam me dicent
omnes generationes.
Quia fecit mihi magna qui potens est:
et sanctum nomen eius.
Et misericordia eius
a progenie in progenies timentibus eum.
Fecit potentiam in brachio suo:
dispersit superbos mente cordis sui.
Deposuit potentes de sede,
et exaltavit humiles.
Esurientes implevit bonis:
et divites dimisit inanes.
Suscepit Israel puerum suum,
recordatus misericordiae suae.
Sicut locutus est ad patres nostros,
Abraham et semini eius in saecula.
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord.
And my spirit rejoices in God, my Saviour.
For he has looked with favour
on the lowliness of his handmaiden:
behold, from henceforth all generations
shall call me blessed.
For he that is mighty has done wondrous things
for me: and holy is his name.
And his mercy is upon them
that fear him throughout all generations.
He has shown the power of his arm:
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has put down the mighty from their seat,
and has exalted the humble and meek.
He has filled the hungry with good things:
and the rich he has sent empty away.
He has sustained his servant Israel,
in rememberance of his mercy.
As he promised to our forefathers,
Abraham and his sons for ever.

My soul doth magnify the Lord: and my spirit rejoiceth in God my Saviour.
For he hath regarded: the lowliness of his hand-maiden.
For behold, from henceforth: all generations shall call me blessed.
For he that is mighty hath magnified me: and holy is his Name.
And his mercy is on them that fear him: throughout all generations.
He hath shewed strength with his arm: he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He hath put down the mighty from their seat: and hath exalted the humble and meek.
He hath filled the hungry with good things: and the rich he hath sent empty away.
He remembering his mercy hath holpen his servant Israel:
As he promised to our forefather Abraham and to his seed for ever.

Gloria Patri, et Filio,
et Spiritui Sancto.
Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper:
et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son,  and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be: and for an age of ages. Amen
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be: and for an age of ages. Amen
Gabriel Angelus locutus est Mariae dicens:
Ave gratia plena. Dominus tecum:
benedicta tu in mulieribus.
The angel Gabriel spoke to Mary saying:
Hail, thou art full of grace. The Lord is with thee:
blessed art thou among women.
The angel Gabriel spoke to Mary saying:
Hail, thou art full of grace. The Lord is with thee:
blessed art thou among women.

Scores available from Nancho Alvarez’s site: partituras de Tomas Luis de Victoria

Series Navigation<< The Marian Music of Tomás Luis de Victoria Part 10: Ave Maria a 8The Marian Music of Tomás Luis de Victoria: Part 12 Ave Maris Stella a 4 (1581 Setting) >>

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