Thursday, March 25, 2010

Annunciation: Angelus ad Virginem

The Solemnity of the Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary is March 25. Here is a medieval "carol" for the Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary, called Angelus ad Virginem.
Take a listen to the carol being performed by the Tallis Scholars (2:35).

Here's another version (only the first two verses) sung in a rather different (and considerably more medieval-folk sounding) style, by The King's Singers (1:15).

Here are the words with a translation:
Angelus ad virginem
Sub intrans in conclave,
Virginis formidinem
Demulcens, inquit: Ave!
Ave regina virginum;
Caeli terraeque Dominum
Et paries intacta
Salutem hominum;
Tu porta caeli facta,
Medela criminum.
When the angel came secretly
to the Virgin in her room,
soothing the maiden's fear,
he said: "Hail!
Hail, Queen of virgins.
While yet untouched by man
you shall conceive and bear
the Lord of heaven and earth,
salvation for mankind.
You have become the gate of heaven,
a remedy for sins."
Quomodo conciperem
Quae virum non cognovi?
Qualiter infringerem
Quod firma mente vovi?
Spiritus Sancti gratia
Perficiet haec omnia;
Ne timeas,
Sed gaudeas, secura
Quod castimonia
Manebit in te pura
Dei potentia.
"How can I conceive,
since I have not known a man?
How can I break the vow
I made with firm intent?"
"The grace of the Holy Spirit
shall bring all this to pass.
Fear not,
but rejoice, secure in the
knowledge that pure chastity
shall remain yours
through God's mighty power."
Ad haec virgo nobilis
Respondens inquit ei:
Ancilla sum humilis
Omnipotentis Dei.
Tibi caelesti nuntio,
Tanti secreti conscio,
Et cupiens videre
Factum quod audio;
Parata sum parere,
Dei consilio.
To this the noble Virgin
replied, saying:
"I am the lowly handmaiden
of Almighty God.
I bend my will to you,
O celestial messenger,
who share so great a mystery,
and I long to see performed
what I now hear.
I am ready to yield myself
to God's design."
Eia mater Domini,
Quae pacem redidisti
Angelis et homini,
Cum Christum genuisti:
Tuum exora filium
ut se nobis propitium
Et deleat peccata:
Praestans auxilium
Vita frui beata
Post hoc exsilium.
Ah, mother of the Lord,
who gave back peace
to angels and mankind
when you bore Christ,
pray your son
to be gracious to us,
and wipe away
our sins,
granting us aid
to enjoy a blessed life
after this exile.


Gretchen said...

Do you have any sources for some of this lovely music? I would like to find some CDs...quite tired of Bing Crosby at this point in time. :-)

japhy said...

I downloaded the album "Christmas" by "The King's Singers" from iTunes a couple weeks ago (because Fr. Z used their performance of Veni Veni Emmanuel in a podcast of his). From that album, I found this particular song (Angelus ad Virginem), but they only sang two verses of it, so I sought it online for a more complete mp3 (which I found!).

My friend Emily recommends these groups: "The Tallis Scholars", the "Orlando Consort", the "Anonymous 4", and "Pomerium". She's a Princeton grad student whose field is medieval/renaissance music -- her thesis project is on music associated with the Feast of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary -- so I think her recommendations carry great weight.

japhy said...

I added a clip of other rendition of Angelus ad Virginem for comparison.

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