Orlande de Lassus (±1530-1594): Magnificat super Aurora lucis rutilat

During his lengthy tenure at the Munich court de Lassus produced an enormous amount of music including around 100 settings of the Magnificat many of these such as this one are parody compositions,that is they’re based on  a pre-existing work that was then adapted by the composer to fit his purposes. 1 In this case the basis of the composition is de Lassus’ own motet Aurora lucis rutilat a magnificent 10 piece work about which I wrote last Friday 2 It’s an alternatim setting of monodic Gregorian chants and polyphonic settings. Enjoy :-)


Orlande de Lassus (±1530-1594): Magnificat super Aurora lucis rutilat


Vocalconsort Berlin directed by Daniel Reuss. 
Soprano: Cécile Kempenaers, Alba Vilar, Katja Kunze , Miriam Fahnert
Mezzo-Soprano: Inga Schneider , Aurélie Franck, Anne-Kristin Zschunke , Maria Schlestein
Alto: Anne Bierwirth
Countertenor: Edzard Burchards
Tenor: Johannes Klügling, Stephan Gähler, Florian Schmitt, Florian Feth, Dan Martin, Andreas Fischer, Hartmut Schröder, Markus Schuck, Masashi Tsuji
Bass: Stefan Drexlmeier, Christoph Drescher, Ralf Grobe, Nicolas Boulanger

Text & Translation: Magnificat

LatinModern EnglishTraditional Translation
Magnificat anima mea Dominum.My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord.My soul doth magnify the Lord:
Et exsultavit spiritus meus in Deo salutari meo.And my spirit rejoices in God, my Saviour.and my spirit rejoiceth in God my Saviour.
Quia respexit humilitatem ancillae suae:For he has looked with favour on the lowliness of his handmaiden:For he hath regarded: the lowliness of his hand-maiden.
ecce enim ex hoc beatam me dicent omnes generationes.behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.For behold, from henceforth: all generations shall call me blessed.
Quia fecit mihi magna qui potens est:For he that is mighty has done wondrous things for me:For he that is mighty hath magnified me:
et sanctum nomen eius.and holy is his name.and holy is his Name.
Et misericordia eius a progenie in progenies timentibus eum.And his mercy is upon them
that fear him throughout all generations.
And his mercy is on them that fear him: throughout all generations.
Fecit potentiam in bracchio suo:He has shown the power of his arm:He hath shewed strength with his arm:
dispersit superbos mente cordis sui.he has scattered the proud in their conceit.he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
Deposuit potentes de sede, et exaltavit humiles.He has put down the mighty from their seat, and has exalted the humble and meek.He hath put down the mighty from their seat: and hath exalted the humble and meek.
Esurientes implevit bonis:He has filled the hungry with good things:He hath filled the hungry with good things:
et divites dimisit inanes.and the rich he has sent empty away.and the rich he hath sent empty away.
Suscepit Israel, puerum suum, recordatus misericordiae suae.He has sustained his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy.He remembering his mercy hath holpen his servant Israel:
Sicut locutus est ad patres nostros,
Abraham, et semini eius in saecula. Luke 1: 46-55
As he promised to our forefathers,
Abraham and his sons for ever.
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,
world without end. Amen.
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.


  1. A handy way of telling whether something is a parody or not is to look at its full formal title – if it says something like "name" super "name" then you know it’s a parody composition based upon the second name thus Magnificat super Aurora lucis rutilat. –  mfi
  2. see: Lassus Aurora lucis rutilat á 10; The Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge Saturday Chorale – mfi.

Leave a Reply

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