Angelus ad Virginem (Anonymous)

From ChoralWiki

This work is famously mentioned in Chaucer's The Miller's Tale:


And al above there lay a gay sautrie
on which he made anyghtes melodie
so sweetly that all the chamber rong
and Angelus ad virginem he song…

Among the numerous mss. sources there are five versions with music, all with slightly different tunes. As labeled in Dobson & Harrison Mediaeval English Songs, they are:

  • Version a: tune only, in Cambridge MS Add. 710 (the so-called Dublin Troper)
  • Version b: (ornate) tune only with both Latin and English text, in BL MS Arundel 248
  • Version c: 2-voice setting, in BL MS Cotton Fragments XXIX (the charred survivor of a 1731 fire)
  • Version d: 3-voice setting without text in Cambridge MS Add. 710 (the so-called Dublin Troper)
  • Version e: 3-voice setting with Latin text in Cambridge MS Add. 710 (the so-called Dublin Troper)

Music files

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Various modern SATB settings

  • (Posted 2019-12-18)  CPDL #56334:         
MP3 Practice Files: Soprano:   Alto:   Tenor:   Bass:  
Editor: William Chimiak (submitted 2019-12-18).   Score information: A4, 3 pages, 50 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Untexted SATB setting with practice parts.
  • (Posted 2014-02-17)  CPDL #31305:     
Editor: Richard Norris (submitted 2014-02-17).   Score information: A4, 3 pages, 46 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: original melody in S, with 4-part harmonization by RN. Verses 1-4 in Latin.
  • (Posted 2012-02-25)  CPDL #25640:         
Editor: Benjamin Bloomfield (submitted 2012-02-25).   Score information: Letter   Copyright: Public Domain
Edition notes: for SATB, with original melody in S. 5 verses in Latin.
  • (Posted 2004-06-23)  CPDL #07296:     
Editor: Douglas Brooks-Davies (submitted 2004-06-23).   Score information: A4, 3 pages, 112 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Traditional carol (original melody in S), translated and arranged by Douglas Brooks-Davies. With piano reduction. Latin verses 1, 2, 3, 5.

'Version e', the texted 3-part setting in the Dublin Troper.

  • (Posted 2006-03-21)  CPDL #11285:       
Editor: Mark Chapman (submitted 2006-03-21).   Score information: A4, 2 pages, 50 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Transcribed in G major and 6/8 time, with the middle line written out for both alto and tenor, the lower lines transposed down an octave. 5 verses in Latin.
  • (Posted 2020-02-03)  CPDL #56903:         
Editor: Catuí Côrte-Real Suarez (submitted 2020-02-03).   Score information: A4, 5 pages, 100 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Verses written out in full. SAB.
  • (Posted 2020-02-03)  CPDL #56901:         
Editor: Catuí Côrte-Real Suarez (submitted 2020-02-03).   Score information: A4, 5 pages, 96 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Verses written out in full. STB.

Simple monophonic setting

  • (Posted 2021-11-07)  CPDL #66589:       
Editor: Catuí Côrte-Real Suarez (submitted 2021-11-07).   Score information: A4, 1 page, 32 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Compact, one page edition (block lyrics).
  • (Posted 2020-02-03)  CPDL #56900:            Score video: Network.png (YouTube)
Editor: Catuí Côrte-Real Suarez (submitted 2020-02-03).   Score information: A4, 2 pages, 50 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Melody only. Verses written in full, for ease of performance.

General Information

Title: Angelus ad Virginem
Composer: Anonymous, 13th century

Number of voices: 3-4vv   Voicings: SAB, STB or SATB
Genre: SacredCarol

Language: Latin
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1361
Description: This was a popular carol from its creation, and is mentioned in Chaucer's work.

External websites:

Original text and translations

Latin.png Latin text

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.

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.

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.

Angelus disparuit
et statim puellaris
uterus intumuit
vi partus salutaris.
Qui circumdatus utero
novem mensium numero
hinc exiit
et iniit
affigens humero
crucem qua dedit ictum
hosti mortifero.

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

English.png English translation

Gabriel fram eveneking
sent to þe maide sweete
broute hir blisful tiding
and fair he gan his greete
Heil be þu ful of grace ariçt
for Godes Son þis hevenliçt
for mannes love
wil man bicome
and take
fles of þee maide briçt
manken free for to make
of sen and devles miçt.

Mildelich him gan andswere
þe milde maide þanne
wichewise sold ich here
child withute manne?
þangel hir seid Ne dred tee nout
þurw þoligast sal been iwrout
þis ilche þing
warof tiding
ich bringe
al manken wurth ibout
þurw þine sweet childinge
and ut of pine ibout.

Wan þe maiden undersood
and þangels wordes herde
mildelich with milde mood
to þangel hie andswerde
ure lords þewe maid iwis
ich am þat here above is
anentis me
fulfurthed be
þi sawe
þat icy with his wil is
maid withute lawe
of moder had þe blis.

þangel went awei mid þan
al ut of hire siçte
hire womb arise gan
þurw þoligastes miçt
in hir wes Crist bilok anon
sooth God sooth man in fles and bon
and of his fles
ibore wes
at time
warþurw us cam good won
he bout us ut of pine
and let him for us slon.

Maidenmoder makeles
of milce flu ibunde
bid for us him þat tee ches
at wam þu grace funde
þat he forgive us sen and wrake
and clene of evri gelt us make
and hevenblis
wan ur time is
to sterve
us give for þine sake
him so here for to serve
þat He us to Him take. (BL ms Arundel 248, late 13c)

English.png English translation

Gabriel, from heaven's king
Sent to the maiden sweet,
Brought to her blissful tiding
And fair 'gan her to greet.
'Hail be thou, full of grace aright!
For so God's Son, the heaven's light,
Loves man, that He
a man will be
and take
Flesh of thee, maiden bright,
Mankind free for to make
Of sin and devil's might.'

Gently to him gave answer
The gentle maiden then:
'And in what wise should I bear
Child, that know not man?'
The angel said: 'O dread thee nought.
'Tis through the Holy Ghost that wrought
Shall be this thing
whereof tidings
I bring:
Lost mankind shall be bought
By thy sweet childbearing,
And back from sorrow brought.'

When the maiden understood
And the angel's words had heard,
Mildly, of her own mild mood,
The angel she answered:
'Our Lord His handmaiden, I wis,
I am, that here above us is:
And touching me
fulfilled be
thy saw;
That I, since His will is,
Be, out of nature's law
A maid with mother's bliss.'

The angel went away thereon
And parted from her sight
And straightway she conceived a Son
Through th' Holy Ghost His might.
In her was Christ contained anon,
True God, true man, in flesh and bone;
Born of her too
When time was due;
who then
Redeemed us for His own,
And bought us out of pain,
And died for us t'atone.

Filled full of charity,
Thou matchless maiden-mother,
Pray for us to him that He
For thy love above other,
Away our sin and guilt should take,
And clean of every stain us make
And heaven's bliss,
when our time is
to die,
Would give us for thy sake;
With grace to serve him by
Till He us to him take. Amen. (Gerard Manley Hopkins)

German.png German translation

Als der Engel heimlich in das Zimmer der Jungfrau kam,
beschwichtigte er die Furcht der jungen Frau,
indem er sagte:
„Heil! Gegrüsset seist du, Königin der Jungfrauen.
Obgleich noch unberührt von einem Mann
sollst du empfangen und austragen
den Herrn des Himmels und der Erde,
der Rettung der Menschheit.
Du bist das Tor des Himmels geworden,
zur Heilung der Sünden.“

„Wie kann ich empfangen,
da ich doch bisher noch keinen Mann erkannte?
Wie kann ich das Gelübde brechen
das ich mit starker Absicht ablegte?“
„Die Gnade des Heiligen Geistes
soll dies bewältigen. Fürchte dich nicht,
sondern freue dich, und versichere dich
der Gewissheit, dass die reine Keuschheit
dir bleiben soll
durch Gottes Allmacht.“

Darauf antwortete die edle Jungfrau
und sagte: „Ich bin die niedere Magd
des allmächtigen Gottes.
Ich beuge mich deinem Willen
O himmlischer Bote,
der mir solch ein großes Geheimnis anvertraut,
und ich sehne mich danach erfüllt zu sehen,
was ich gerade höre.
Ich bin bereit mich
Gottes Plan zu unterwerfen.“

Oh, Mutter Gottes,
die du den Frieden zurückbrachtest
den Engeln und der Menschheit
als du Christus gebarst,
wir beten, dass dein Sohn
uns gnädig sei, und hinweg fegt
unsere Sünden, uns Hilfe gewährt
so dass wir uns eines gesegneten Lebens erfreuen
nach dieser Zeit des Exils.