Laus Matrimonii ex Horatio (Felices ter) (Johann Walter)

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  • (Posted 2000-11-28)  CPDL #01816:         
Editor: Stuart McIntosh (submitted 2000-11-28).   Score information: A4, 4 pages, 100 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes:
Error.gif Possible error(s) identified. Error summary: sop m20 text should be "is" instead of "us", missing hyphen in sop m23 "sol vet" should have hyphen See the discussion page for full description.

General Information

Title: Laus Matrimonii ex Horatio (Felices ter)
Composer: Johann Walter
Lyricist: Quintus Horatius Flaccus

Number of voices: 5vv   Voicing: SATTB
Genre: SecularAnthem

Language: Latin
Instruments: A cappella

First published:

External websites:

Original text and translations

Latin.png Latin text

Felices ter et amplius,
quos irrupta tenet copula
nec malis divulsus querimoniis
Suprema citius solvet amor die.

English.png English translation

Thrice happy, and more, are those
Whom an unbreakable union holds,
Nor will love, undisrupted by vicious quarrels,
End sooner than their final day.

Translation by Paul Pascal

Translation Notes:

Johann Walter chose for musical setting the four final lines of one of the less familiar Odes (I.13) of the Roman lyric poet Horace. The subject of the preceding sixteen lines of the poem is a detailed description of the turbulent love affair of Lydia, who is infatuated with an abusive and brutal lover named Telephus. This infuriates the jealous poet, who concludes that those lovers are much happier who stay together permanently. Marriage is not explicitly mentioned in this conclusion of the poem, and naming the excerpt "In Praise of Matrimony" may well be regarded as something of a distortion.