Philippe de Monte (1521-1603): Magnificat quarti toni

imagePhilippe 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 :-).

markfromireland


Text & Translation: Magnificat

Text: Magnificat

LatinModern EnglishTraditional Translation

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 bracchio 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.

Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto.
Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper,
et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

Luke 1: 46-55

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 remembrance of his mercy.
As he promised to our forefathers,
Abraham and his sons for ever.

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,
world without end. Amen.

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.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son: and to the Holy Ghost;
As it was in the beginning, and is now, and ever shall be: world without end. Amen.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *