Recordare Virgo Mater (Josquin des Prez)

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  • (Posted 2014-10-26)  CPDL #33219:         
Editor: John Kelly (submitted 2014-10-26).   Score information: Letter, 5 pages, 563 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Performers should feel free to alter the ficta and text underlay. The addition of unnotated accidentals varied widely, and the original edition has some obvious problems in text underlay. I would recommend preserving the original offertory's Dorian flavor as much as possible.

General Information

Title: Recordare Virgo Mater
Composer: Josquin des Prez

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SSSA
Genre: SacredMotet

Language: Latin
Instruments: A cappella

    Manuscript c.1480
First published: 1520 in Motetti novi libro secondo (Antico), no. 15
Description: This piece's tessitura, four treble voices, is unusual for Renaissance sacred music in general and Josquin in particular, and its ascription is doubted by some. But the weight of opinion seems to fall towards considering it authentic. The sole printed source is fairly reliable, and the style is consistent with Josquin's early work. It is based on an offertory sung at feasts of the Virgin Mary. The offertory is in Mode I (Dorian) and the motet reflects that, though not consistently.

External websites:

Original text and translations

Latin.png Latin text

RECORDARE, Virgo Mater,
dum steteris in conspectu Dei,
ut loquaris pro nobis bona
et ut avertat indignationem suam [a nobis.]

[Trope: ab hac familia.
Tu propicia,
mater eximia,
pelle vicia,
fer remedia
reis in via,
dans in patria
vite gaudia.
Pro quibus dulcia
tu preconia,
laudes cum gloria
suscipe, pia virgo Maria.

English.png English translation

REMEMBER, O Virgin Mother,
when you stand in the sight of God,
to speak good things for us
and to turn away his indignation [from us.]

[Trope: from this household.
Well-disposed one,
excellent mother,
drive away vices,
bring remedies
to sinners on their journey,
giving them in their fatherland
the joys of life.
In return receive
sweet tributes,
praises with glory,
merciful Virgin Mary.