William, Monk of Stratford: Magnificat a 4

I can tell you almost nothing about William Stratford he’s described in the Eton Choirbook as ‘monachus Stratfordiae’ which means he must have been a a monk of the Cistercian abbey of Stratford-atte-Bowe in what is now East London. His  four-part setting of the Magnificat is one of the very few settings in the Eton Choirbook to have survived in its entirety as you might expect it’s written in the florid style of the late 15th century.  Enjoy :-).

mfi

 

Text & Trans­la­tion: 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. 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.

2 thoughts on “William, Monk of Stratford: Magnificat a 4

  1. Interesting that he may have been a Cistercian monk as the Cistercians were noted for the simplicity of their plainchant yet this is polyphonic. Did they adopt polyphony at the later stage?

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