Nicolas Gombert (±1495-±1560): Salve Regina a 4 voci

This setting of the Salve by Gombert dates from 1539 when it was published in a book of four-part motets. In it Gombert takes the chant as his cantus firmus but instead of having one voice sing the cantus he uses the chant’s melody as a source of inspiration for the imitation points that you can hear in all the voices. This was a very new technique and marks the move from using cantus firmus to paraphrasing the melody pioneered by Gombert and other immediately post-Josquin composers. Enjoy :-).


Nicolas Gombert (±1495-±1560): Salve Regina a 4 voci

Text & Translation: Salve Regina

LatinModern English TranslationTraditional English Translation
Salve regina, mater misericordiae,Hail, O queen, mother of mercy,Hail, holy Queen, Mother of Mercy,
vita, dulcedo et spes nostra salve.our life, sweetness and hope, hail.our life, our sweetness and our hope.
Ad te clamamus exsules filii Hevae,To thee do we sigh, daughter of Eve,To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve;
ad te suspiramus gementes et flentesmourning and weepingto thee do we send up our sighs,
in hac lacrimarum this vale of tears.mourning and weeping in this valley of tears.
Eia ergo advocata nostraO you our advocate,Turn then, most gracious advocate,
illos tuos misericordes oculos ad nos converte.turn on us thy merciful eyes.thine eyes of mercy toward us;
Et Iesum benedictum fructum ventris tuiAnd after this our exile show unto us Jesus,And after this our exile, show unto us
nobis post hoc exsilium ostende.the blessed fruit of thy womb.the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
O clemens, o pia, o dulcis virgo Maria.O merciful, O loving, O sweet virgin Mary.O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.

Performers: The Hilliard Ensemble conducted by Paul Hillier

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