Philippe de Monte is probably best known in the English speaking world for his friendship with William Byrd and the extraordinary exchange of motets between them (de Monte: Super flumina Babylonis; Byrd: Quomodo cantabimus) in which de Monte expressed his anxiety for his friend and Byrd expressed his determination to carry on. But it’s for the music he composed over the thirty five years that he served the Hapsburgs as Kapellmeister that he best deserves to be known. This source of this setting of the Magnificat – one of a set of eight written in the eight liturgical tones, is a manuscript dating from 1602 but they were almost certainly composed befrore that year. I suspect they were written for particular Marian feasts such as the Feast of the Presentation of the Virgin (21 November). The motet’s texture is often homophonic, with tenor and bass singing using that form of Gregorian psalm tone based on triads called ‘falsobordone‘ (which is incidentally the root of Anglican chant). It’s sung below by Cinquecento. Enjoy :-).
Text & Translation: Magnificat
|Latin||Modern English||Traditional Translation|
Magnificat anima mea Dominum.
Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto.
Luke 1: 46-55
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
My soul doth magnify the Lord: and my spirit rejoiceth in God my Saviour.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son: and to the Holy Ghost;