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O magnum mysterium, by Cristóbal de Morales (c. 1500 - 1553)

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This is the first of four settings of the Christmas responsory text, O magnum mysterium, proper <i>In Nativitate Domine</i> and <i>In Circuncisione Domini</i> (In the Nativity of the Lord, in the circumcision of the Lord). Morales' setting differs from the more commonly known version by fellow Spaniard Victoria with its higher register and the duet-like voice exchange between the two top lines. Morales also included the additional responsory, 'Domine, audivi' from Habakkuk 3:2-3.

lyrics

O magnum mysterium
Cristóbal de Morales (c. 1500 - 1553)

O magnum mysterium
et admirabile sacramentum,
ut animalia viderent Dominum natum,
jacentem in prÊsepio.
Beata Virgo, cujus viscera meruerunt
Portare Dominum Jesum Christum.
Domine, audivi auditum tuum et timui:
Consideravi opera tua et expavi:
In medio duorum animalium.

O great mystery,
and wonderful sacrament,
that animals should see the new-born Lord,
lying in a manger.
Blessed is the Virgin whose womb was worthy
To bear Jesus Christ the Lord.
Lord, I heard your oracle with dread;
I considered your works and became frightened
in the midst of the animals.

credits

from Magnum Mysterium: Advent & Christmas music for lute & voice, released November 1, 2016
Arranged by Ron Andrico, Mignarda Editions

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Mignarda Danby, New York

Mignarda specializes in thoughtful programming illuminating the vibrant mingling of renaissance music & poetry. Noted for awakening modern audiences to an appreciation for historical music, their work encompasses concertizing, teaching & recording, with ten critically-acclaimed CDs, a series of 12 music editions, scholarly articles, reviews and the internationally-popular blog, Unquiet Thoughts. ... more

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