Illibata Dei Virgo nutrix (Josquin des Prez)

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  • CPDL #20539:         
Editor: Sabine Cassola (submitted 2009-11-26).   Score information: A4, 10 pages, 172 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: score available in Finale 2004. MusicXML source file is in compressed .mxl format.
  • CPDL #13199: 
Letter size:    
A4 size:    
Editor: Pothárn Imre (submitted 2006-12-05).   Score information: Letter and A4, 9 pages, 133 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Musica ficta clearly indicated.
Updated: 2009-11-29. Errors have been corrected. Thanks to Mick Swithinbank

General information

Title: Illibata Dei Virgo nutrix
Composer: Josquin des Prez

Number of voices: 5vv   Voicing: STTTB
Genre: SacredMotet

Language: Latin
Instruments: A cappella

Published:

Description: Motet in two parts:

Prima pars: Illibata Dei Virgo nutrix
Secunda pars: Ave virginem

One of the tenor parts is a cantus firmus on the syllables La mi la (whose vowels are the same as those in Maria - such a process is known as Solmization), while the other two (labelled Contratenor Primus and Contatenor Secundus in the score) are part of the contrapuntal, almost canonic musical texture. Also interesting is that the poetic text of the Prima pars (presumably by Josquin himself) forms a downward acrostic of his name (Iosqvin des Prez):

Illibata Dei virgo nutrix
Olympi tu regis o genitrix
Sola parens verbi puerpera
Que fuisti Eve reparatrix
Viri nephas tuta mediatrix
Illud clara luce dat scriptura
Nata nati alma genitura
Des ut leta musorum factura
Prevaleat ymis et sit ave
Roborando sonos ut gluttura
Effligitent laude teque pura
Zelotica arte clament Ave


External website(s):

Original text and translations

Latin.png Latin text

Illibata Dei virgo nutrix
Olympi tu regis o genitrix
Sola parens verbi puerpera
Quae fuisti Evae reparatrix
Viri nephas tuta mediatrix
Illud clara luce dat scriptura
Nata nati alma genitura
Des ut laeta musarum factura
Prevaleat hymnus et sit ave
Roborando sonos ut guttura
Efflagitent laude teque pura
Zelotica arte clament Ave.

Ave virginum decus hominum
Coelique porta
Ave lilium, flos humilium
Virgo decora.
Vale ergo tota pulchra ut luna
Electa ut sol, clarissima gaude.
Salve tu sola cum sola amica,
Consola "la mi la" canentes in tua laude.
Ave Maria, mater virtutum,
Veniae vena, ave Maria,
Gratia plena, Dominus tecum,
Ave Maria, mater virtutum.
Amen.

English.png English translation

Virgin nurse of God, undefiled,
you, mother of the king of Olympus,
sole parent of the Word,
you repaired the damage done by Eve,
you intercede for the wicked;
this is what the scriptures clearly tell us.
Daughter of your own son, bountiful in birth,
grant that the muses
may make people's throats joyful
by strengthening the sound they make,
so that they may strike up a stirring hymn,
crying hail to you with the pure zeal of art.

Hail virgin, jewel of mankind
and heaven's gate,
hail lily, flower of humility,
graceful maiden,
hail, then, beauteous as the moon,
chosen one, bright as the sun, rejoice.
Hail, only consoling friend,
as we sing la-mi-la (A-E-A) in your praise.
Hail Mary, mother of virtues,
to whom pardoning is second nature,
hail Mary, full of grace, may the Lord be with you.
Hail Mary, mother of virtues.
Amen.

Approximate English translation by Mick Swithinbank

(I had difficulty making sense of the last section of Part One.)