O beate Basili / O beate pater (Jacob Obrecht)

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  • (Posted 2016-07-15)  CPDL #40349:      Part 1:  2:  3: 
Editor: John Hetland (submitted 2016-07-15).   Score information: Letter, 16 pages, 1.44 MB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Source: New Obrecht Edition, vol. 16, ed. Chris Maas, KVVNM, 1996. Notation here is a minor third higher than the original with time values halved. Translation, text underlay and musica ficta by John Hetland and The Renaissance Street Singers. 26 Mar 2016

General Information

Title: O beate Basili / O beate pater
Composer: Jacob Obrecht

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SacredMotet

Language: Latin
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1505 in Motetti liber 4, no. 37
Description: In honor of St. Basil.

External websites:

Original text and translations

Latin.png Latin text

I: Soprano and bass:
O beáte Básili,
conféssor Dómini veneránde,
cúius víte méritis illúxit
colúmna ígnis incénsa de célis,
róga pro túis Chrístum fámulis
ut nos súis condónet amícis.

I: Alto and tenor; II: all:
O beáte páter Básili,
píum Dóminum Jésum
pro impietátibus nóstris depósce.

III: Soprano, alto, tenor:
O vírum dígne coléndum
quem in colúmbe spécie
invísit Spíritus Sánctus,
in glória súa Chrístus
et cum sánctis súis vírgo María,
qui tyránnos, qui démones
debellávit et dómuit,
mórtem dístulit, cum vóluit óbiit
et in célum ábiit,
regnatúrus in sécula seculórum.

III: Bass:
Invísit sánctus sánctum Basílium Effrem,
quem invénit ad sánctam procedéntem,
vidítque per os éius loquéntem
línguam ígneam.
Vére, ínquit, mágnus Basílius,
vére colúmna ígnis Basílius,
vére Spíritus Sánctus
lóquitur in Basílio.

English.png English translation

O blessed Basil,
venerable confessor of the Lord,
by the merits of whose life shone
a pillar of fire kindled from heaven,
ask Christ on your servants' behalf
that he pardon us for his friends.

O blessed father Basil,
beseech the benevolent Lord Jesus
for our impieties.

Oh, how right it is to honor that man
whom in the form of a dove
the Holy Spirit visited,
Christ in his glory
and with his saints the virgin Mary,
who tyrants, who demons
he conquered and subjected,
put off death, died when he chose,
and went to heaven,
to reign for ever and ever.

St. Effrem visited St. Basil,
whom he found headed to a holy place,
and saw speaking through his mouth
a tongue of fire.
"Truly," he said, "Basil is great;
truly Basil is a pillar of fire;
truly the Holy Spirit
speaks in Basil."