O bone et dulcissime Jesu (Josquin des Prez)

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  • (Posted 2020-09-15)  CPDL #60590:     
Editor: Adrian Wall (submitted 2020-09-15).   Score information: A4, 12 pages, 1.8 MB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: Transposed up a tone. Note values halved. 6-voice version (SSATTB).
  • (Posted 2010-10-02)  CPDL #22388:       
Editor: John Hetland (submitted 2010-10-02).   Score information: Letter, 10 pages, 548 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Josquin's original 4-voice version. Notation here is a wholetone higher than the original with time values halved. Translation by David E. Green, General Theological Seminary. Text underlay and musica ficta by John Hetland and the Renaissance Street Singers.

General Information

Title: O bone et dulcissime Jesu
Composer: Josquin des Prez

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicings: SATB or SSATTB
Genre: SacredMotet

Language: Latin
Instruments: A cappella

    Manuscript c.1512 in Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, MS Capp. Sist. 45, no. 16
    Manuscript c.1550 in Bayerische Staatsbibliothek Mus. MS 41
First published: 1956 in Das Chorwerk, no. 57.1
Description: Josquin's original composition has 4 voices. The copy at the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek provides two additional voices, by an anonymous composer, possibly Ludwig Daser.

External websites:

Original text and translations

Latin.png Latin text

O bone et dulcissime Jesu,
per tuam misericordiam esto mihi Jesus!
Quid est Jesus nisi plasmator,
nisi redemp tor, nisi salvator.
Ergo bone et dulcissime Jesu,
qui me plasmasti tua benignitate,
rogo te, ne pereat opus tuum
mea iniquitate.
Ergo quaeso, anhelo, suspiro
ne perdas
quod tua fecit omnipotens divinitas.
Recognosce quod tuum est
et ne respicias quod meum est.
Noli cogitare malum meum,
ut obliviscaris bonum tuum.

Si ego commisi
per quod dannare me debes,
tu non amisisti
unde me salvare potes,
Et si secundum iustitiam tuam
dannare me vis,
ad tuam piissimam et ineffabilem misericordiam
Ergo quaeso: miserere mei, miserere mei,
secundum magnam misericordiam
et pietatem tuam.

English.png English translation

O good and most sweet Jesus,
through thy mercy be my Jesus.
What is Jesus but creator,
but redeemer, but savior!
Therefore, O good and most sweet Jesus,
who hast created me through thy kindness,
I pray thee that thy work may not perish
through my iniquity.
Therefore I pray, I beseech, I implore
that thou mayest not destroy
what thine omnipotent divinity hath made.
Remember what is thine
and do not look upon what is mine.
Do not plan my evil
so as to forget thy good.

If I have committed anything
for which thou shouldst damn me,
thou hast not lost
the possibility to save me.
And if according to thy justice
thou willest to damn me,
to thy compassionate and ineffable mercy
I appeal.
Therefore I pray: have mercy upon me
according to thy great mercy
and compassion.