David, rex propheta (Jean Crespel)

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  • (Posted 2012-10-08)  CPDL #27286:       
Editor: Mick Swithinbank (submitted 2012-10-08).   Score information: 20.1 x 27.6 cm, 11 pages, 91.81 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: In the original key in modern clefs. Source: Liber nonus ecclesiasticarum cantionum 5 vocum, Susato, Antwerp 1554 (accessed via Royal Holloway website, earlymusiconline).

General Information

Title: David, rex propheta
Composer: Jean Crespel

Number of voices: 5vv   Voicing: SAATB
Genre: SacredMotet

Language: Latin
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1554 in Ecclesiasticarum cantionum quinque vocum, liber 9, no. 13

Description: A setting of a non-Biblical text praising King David as a musician - probably a unique text, of unknown authorship. Musical instruments are mentioned, and to some extent musically imitated, in Part Two.

External websites:

Original text and translations

Latin.png Latin text

David rex propheta Dei
David musicorum decus
non tantum sacris victimis
festisque caeremoniis
sed musicis concentibus
sed dulcibus harmoniis
Deum placare studuit.

Quater mille dictu mirum
usus est cantoribus
qui Deum laudibus piis
confiterentur fervidi
voce tuba lyra cornu
David vos sit exemplo
heus quot quot estis musici.

English.png English translation

King David was God’s prophet.
David, that glory of musicians,
strove to please God, not so much
with sacrifices and festive ceremonies
as with music and sweet harmonies.

He used, wondrous to tell,
four times a thousand singers,
to confess their devotion to God
with an ardent voice,
and with the trumpet, lyre and horn.
Let David serve as an example
to all of you musicians.

(With thanks to Dana F. Sutton for help with the translation)