Plaudite tympana (Heinrich Biber)

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Vocal score

  • CPDL #15527:   
Editor: Philip Legge (submitted 2007-11-26).   Score information: A4, 15 pages, 220 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: Vocal score; revised 3 December 2007; figured bass added, two textual/note corrections.

Full score and parts

  • CPDL #15540:      (Sibelius 5)
Editor: Philip Legge (submitted 2007-11-27).   Score information: A3, 9 pages, 408 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: Full score; Sibelius file incorporates vocal score and parts; revised 3 December 2007.
  • CPDL #15541:   
Editor: Philip Legge (submitted 2007-11-27).   Score information: A4, 45 pages, 840 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: Full set of parts; revised 3 December 2007; upper viola parts notated in treble clef to allow the parts to be taken by violins.

General Information

Title: Plaudite tympana à 54
Composer: Heinrich Biber

Number of voices: 16vv   Voicing: SSAATTBB–SSAATTBB
Genre: SacredMotetHymn

Language: Latin
Instruments: Orchestra: 2 string groups (2 violins, 4 violas each), 2 descant recorders, treble and tenor recorders, 2 oboes, 2 clarini, 2 cornetti, 3 trombones, 2 trumpet groups (4 trumpets, timpani each), 2 organs, continuo

Published: Denkmäler der Tonkunst in Österreich, Band 20 (Vienna, 1903) edited by Guido Adler; attributed there to Orazio Benevoli (1628).

Description: This motet is a hymn accompanying the Missa Salisburgensis, composed by Biber in 1682 for the 1100th anniversary of the founding of the archbishopric of Salzburg by Saint Rupert. The vocal and instrumental forces comprise 16 solo and ripieno voice parts, and at least 38 instruments (the continuo is assumed to include a bass viol amongst other bass instruments, and possibly another keyboard instrument in addition to the two organs). In this motet, only the second bass of the second choir lacks a designated solo part.

The score survives as a manuscript inscribed on massive 80 centimetre tall pages. From the time of its rediscovery in the late 19th century the work was attributed to the early 17th century composer Orazio Benevoli (who would have been 23 years old at the assumed date of composition), or the later Salzburg composer Andreas Hofer, however the noted Biber scholar Ernst Hintermaier showed in the 1970s that Biber is the only possible composer of the work.

External websites: Wikipedia entry on the Missa Salisburgensis

Original text and translations

Latin.png Latin text

Plaudite tympana,
clangite classica,
Fides accinite,
Voces applaudite,
Choro et jubilo,
Pastori maximo,
Applaude patria
Rupertum celebra.

Felix dies ter amœna,
Dies voluptatem plena,
Qua Rupertum celebramus,
Qua patronum honoramus,
Dies felicissima.

O læta gaude patria,
O læta plaude gens,
Ruperti super sidera
Triumphat alta mens,
In angelorum millibus
Beatorum plausibus
Triumphat alta mens.

Vive Salisburgum gaude,
magno patri ter applaude,
in tympanis et vocibus,
in barbitis et plausibus,
Rupertum celebra,
pastori jubila.

(An English translation may be found at:
http://www.wwnorton.com/college/music/Hill/Text+Translations/W25%20Biber,%20Plaudite%20tympana.pdf .)