Prophetarum maxime (Heinrich Isaac)

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  • (Posted 2015-01-05)  CPDL #34151:         
Editor: Robert Bolyard (submitted 2015-01-05).   Score information: Letter, 11 pages, 187 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes:

General Information

Title: Prophetarum maxime
Composer: Heinrich Isaac

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SacredMotetSequence hymn for the Nativity of John the Baptist

Language: Latin
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1520 in Liber selectarum cantionum (Grimm & Wirsung), no. 19, p. 220

External websites:

Original text and translations

Latin.png Latin text

Prophetarum maxime,
vatumque princeps egregie,
qui matris in utero manens
flexis genibus redemptorem salutasti,
et quo nato paterna vocis organa perempta.

Novum solvuntur in canticum,
luceque fruens digito terrarum orbis
demonstrasti salutem dicens:
Ecce agnus Dei,
ecce qui tollit crimina mundi.

Concede nobis tuas digne
concinere laudes viasque tuas
et vocem in derserto clamantem nostra modulatione prosequi.
Per eum cujus tu superis
inferisque fuisti praecursor.

Posuit os meum Dominus
quasi gladium acutum,
sub umbra manus suae protexit me.
Elisabeth Zacharie
magnum virum genuit
Joannem Baptistam praecursorem Domini.

Inter natos mulierum non surrexit
maior Joanne Baptista.

English.png English translation

O Greatest Prophet
and chosen one first among the seers,
who, lingering in the lap your mother,
greeted the Savior on bended knee.
and you through your birth took the voice of the Father.

To a new song was achieved
and full of joy about the light you
you pointed your finger to the salvation of the world and said:
Behold, the Lamb of God,
behold him who takes away the sins of the world.

Allow us to be worthy to sing
your praise and to follow your ways
and the voice of one crying in the wilderness.
Through him, whose forerunner you
were for the living and the dead.

The Lord hath made my mouth as if into a
sharp sword, in the shadow
of his hand he protected me.
Elisabeth of Zachariah
has born a great man,
John the Baptist, the forerunner of Christ.

Among those born of women is not
Arisen anyone greater than John the Baptist.