Salve radix (The Rose Canon) (Anonymous)
- Editor: Adrian Wall (submitted 2020-10-05). Score information: A4, 4 pages, 698 kB Copyright: Personal
- Edition notes: Transposed up a 4th. Note values halved. Non-modulating and pitch spiral versions.
Title: Salve radix
Description: This is the opening piece of music in the choirbook Royal 11 E. xi, compiled for Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon in 1516, where it is presented with the music of the Bassus and Contratenor parts on facing pages each encircling a rose; both are marked Canon. Fuga in diatesseron, indicating that the other two parts may be derived as canons at the 4th. No accidentals are marked in either voice, but, following normal musica ficta rules, there is an implicit flattening through the piece, with repeated modulations creating a "pitch spiral" such that by the end, we are a tone below the notated pitch. Alternatively, a non-modulating reading is possible.
One possible ascription is to Sampson, three of whose works appear in the book; alternatively, Petrus de Opiciis, perhaps the originator or commissioner of the work (there is an inscription on the first, otherwise blank page of the manuscript which reads, Me fieri ac componi fecit PO 1516 [P. O. caused me to be made and assembled, 1516.], perhaps Petrus himself), and whose son Benedictus de Opiciis' motet Sub tuum praesidium is contained elsewhere in the manuscript.
Original text and translations
Salve radix varios producens germine ramos
Translation by Edward Tambling