Ecce beatam lucem (Alessandro Striggio)

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Full scores

  • (Posted 2006-01-18)  CPDL #10762:       
Editor: Sabine Cassola (submitted 2006-01-18).   Score information: A4, 32 pages, 680 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Full score, all five SATB–SATB choirs plus basso continuo, 41 staves per page. A4 format, but should be printed or enlarged to A3 format. Individual parts also available below.
    • (Posted 2006-01-18)  CPDL #10763:  (PDF)
Editor: Sabine Cassola (submitted 2006-01-18).   Score information: A4, 41 pages, 2.24 MB    A4, 1 or 2 pages each, each between 60 KB and 80 KB Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: All 40 individual voice parts, and separate basso continuo part.
  • (Posted 2008-04-01)  CPDL #16497:   
Editor: Philip Legge (submitted 2008-04-01).   Score information: A3, 19 pages, 559 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: Full score, all five choirs plus continuo. Choir books and continuo also available below. Subsequent minor revisions 16 February 2009 (full score, choir 1) and 2 February 2010 (all files).
    • Choir 1: CPDL #16491:   
Editor: Philip Legge (submitted 2008-04-01).   Score information: A4, 11 pages, 152 kB   Copyright: Personal
    • Choir 2: CPDL #16492:   
Editor: Philip Legge (submitted 2008-04-01).   Score information: A4, 12 pages, 158 kB   Copyright: Personal
    • Choir 3: CPDL #16493:   
Editor: Philip Legge (submitted 2008-04-01).   Score information: A4, 13 pages, 185 kB   Copyright: Personal
    • Choir 4: CPDL #16494:   
Editor: Philip Legge (submitted 2008-04-01).   Score information: A4, 12 pages, 162 kB   Copyright: Personal
    • Choir 5: CPDL #16495:   
Editor: Philip Legge (submitted 2008-04-01).   Score information: A4, 11 pages, 161 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: Scores of five double choirs, 8 parts plus continuo. Continuo part separately available below.
    • Continuo: CPDL #16496:   
Editor: Philip Legge (submitted 2008-04-01).   Score information: A4, 2 pages, 67 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: With text underlay for co-ordination with singers, and some editorial figured bass.


  • (Posted 2019-09-15)  CPDL #55357:       
Editor: Mick Swithinbank (submitted 2019-09-15).   Score information: A4, 14 pages, 197 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: This edition is an arrangement for 11 voices, SSATBB.SATBB, of the original 40-part work, based on the Sabine Cassola edition on CPDL. The voicing is the same as for the same editor's arrangement of Tallis's Spem in alium, so that the two works could conveniently be sung as part of the same programme. The midi file (updated on 2/10/2019) may give some impression of the arrangement.

General Information

Title: Ecce beatam lucem
Composer: Alessandro Striggio

Number of voices: 40vv   Voicing: 5 choirs × SATB.SATB
Genre: SacredMotet

Language: Latin
Instruments: Full instrumental accompaniment; or basso continuo; or may be performed a cappella.

First published:
Description: One of two extant 40–part motets dating from the 16th Century, the other being Thomas Tallis' Spem in alium. This motet had variously been described as being composed of 4 choirs (of varying sizes between 6 and 16 voices), or 10 choirs of 4 voices; however, it shares identical voicing with Striggio's 40-voice Missa sopra Ecco sì beato giorno, which is for five SATB-SATB choirs; unlike the mass, some choir entries include extra voices from adjacent choirs, blurring such clear delineation. As for the authorship of the text, Robert Hollingworth and Hugh Keyte state in the CD booklet accompanying I Fagiolini's recording that it was written by 'the celebrated Protestant neo-Latin poet and composer Paul Melissus'.

External links

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Original text and translations

Latin.png Latin text

Ecce beatam lucem;
Ecce bonum sempiternum,
Vos turba electa celebrate Jehovam eiusque natum
aequalem Patri deitatis splendorem.
Virtus Alma et maiestas passim cernenda adest.
Quantum decoris illustri in sole,
quam venusta es luna,
quam multo clar'honore sidera fulgent, quam pulcra quaeque in orbe.
O quam perennis esca tam sanctas mentes pascit!
praesto gratia et amor, praesta nec novum;
praesto est fons perpes vitae.
Hic Patriarchae cum Prophetis, hic David,
Rex David ille vates,
cantans sonans adhuc aeternum Deum.
O mel et dulce nectar, O fortunatam sedem!
Haec voluptas, haec quies, haec meta, hic scopus
Nos hinc attrahunt recta in paradisum.

English.png English translation

Behold the blessed light,
behold eternal goodness,
you throng of the elect, praise God and His Son
who is equal to the Father; praise the splendour of the deity.
Benign power and majesty are seen everywhere.
The dazzling splendour of the sun
is matched by you, the moon,
and by the stars shining brightly in their great glory.
O how such eternal nourishment feeds holy minds!
Mercy and love are here, and always have been;
here is the eternal fount of life.
Here the Patriarchs and Prophets, here David,
King David the bard,
singing and playing instruments still praise eternal God.
O honey and sweet nectar, O blessed place!
This delight, this peace, this goal, this mark
draw us from here straight to Paradise.

Translation by Mick Swithinbank , incorporating a partial translation by the composer Jonathan Dove found on