Spem in alium
(Fifth Week of September, Matins Responsory; cf. Esther 14:19)
The Tallis motet is not the source for Palestrina's Missa Spem in alium, which was published almost contemporaneously in 1570. Palestrina's parody mass is based on a 4–part motet with a similar text, by Jacquet de Mantua, dating from 1539.
The source for the original Latin text is a respond in the Sarum liturgy. It is derived from Judith 8.19 and 6.19. The Book of Judith is included in the Septuagint, which was translated into Greek for the use of Hellenized Jews in Alexandria. The book is included in the Roman Catholic Old Testament, but relegated to the Apocrypha by Protestants.
List of works
- Spem in alium (Jacquet de Mantua) a 4
- Spem in alium (Cristóbal de Morales) a 5
- Spem in alium (Thomas Tallis) a 40
Text and translations
Spem in alium nunquam habui
Mijn hoop is slechts
I have never put my hope
Ich habe niemals meine Hoffnung in irgendeinen
Translation by Jerzy Sosnowski
Em ninguém coloquei minha esperança,
I have never had hope in another,
save in thee, O God of Israel;
who art angry and wilt again show mercy,
and who forgivest all the sins of men
when they are in affliction.
O Lord God, maker of heaven and earth,
look upon our lowliness.
Translation by St Ann choir