O altitudo divitiarum (Giaches de Wert)

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  • (Posted 2023-02-10)  CPDL #72586:    (MIDI)    
Editor: Pothárn Imre (submitted 2023-02-10).   Score information: A4, 8 pages, 179 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Transcribed from 1581 print. Original key and note values.
  • (Posted 2018-11-14)  CPDL #51911:     
Editor: Allen Garvin (submitted 2018-11-14).   Score information: Letter, 7 pages, 172 kB   Copyright: CC BY NC
Edition notes:
  • (Posted 2015-06-19)  CPDL #35830:       
Editor: John Hetland (submitted 2015-06-19).   Score information: Letter, 12 pages, 1.23 MB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Published in 1581 in Venice. Our source: Giaches de Wert: Collected Works, ed. C. MacClintock and M. Bernstein, CMM xxiv (1961-77). Notation here is a tone higher than original with time values halved, but quartered in the final section (6/4 here). Text standardized as per Biblia Vulgata. Translation and musica ficta by John Hetland and The Renaissance Street Singers. 29 Dec 2012

General Information

Title: O altitudo divitiarum
Composer: Giaches de Wert
Source of text: Romans 11:33-36

Number of voices: 6vv   Voicing: SAATTB
Genre: SacredMotet

Language: Latin
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1581 in Modulationum cum sex vocibus liber primus, no. 3
    2nd published: 1583 in Modulationum sacrarum quinque et sex vocum libri tres in unum volumen redacti, no. 34
Description: This Epistle is assigned to OT 212A. Paul has just explained to the Romans that God has consigned everyone to disobedience, that he may have mercy on them. His next words, the text of this motet, marvel at the inscrutability of God's ways.

External websites:

Original text and translations

Original text and translations may be found at O altitudo divitiarum.

Latin.png Latin text

O altitúdo divitiárum
sapiéntiae, et sciéntiae Déi:
quam incomprehensibília
sunt iudícia éius,
et investigábiles víae éius!

Quis énim cognóvit sénsum Dómini?
Aut quis consiliárius éius fúit?
Aut quis príor dédit ílli,
et retribuétur éi?
Quóniam ex ípso, et per ípsum,
et in ípso sunt ómnia:
ípsi glória in saécula saeculórum.

English.png English translation

O the height of riches
are wisdom, and knowledge of God:
how incomprehensible
are his judgments,
and untraceable his ways!

For who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been his advisor?
Or who has first given to him,
and been repaid by him?
For from him, and through him,
and in him are all things:
glory to him for ages of ages.

English.png English translation

O the depth of the riches of the wisdom and of the knowledge of God!
How incomprehensible are his judgments, and how unsearchable his ways!

For who hath known the mind of the Lord? Or who hath been his counsellor?
Or who hath first given to him, and recompense shall be made him?
For of him, and by him, and in him, are all things: to him be glory for ever.
(Douay-Rheims Bible)

NB. The Latin word altitudo can both mean height and depth, the Greek original, however, is βάθος, which means depth.