Descendit de coelis - Et exivit per auream portam (William Byrd)

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  • (Posted 2014-12-01)   CPDL #33529:  Network.png
Editor: Robin Doveton (submitted 2014-12-01).   Score information: A4, 10 pages, 108 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: Transposed up a 4th for SAATTB.
  • CPDL #07682:        (Sibelius 4)
Editor: David Fraser (submitted 2004-07-22).   Score information: A4, 10 pages, 143 kB    Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Revised Dec 08. MusicXML source file is in compressed .mxl format.

General Information

Title: Descendit de coelis - Ex exivit per auream portam
Composer: William Byrd

Number of voices: 6vv   Voicing: ATTBBB
Genre: SacredMotet

Language: Latin
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1589 in Cantiones Sacrae II, no. 21-22

Description: A setting of the text of the third respond at Matins, Christmas Day, Sarum rite. The structure of Byrd's setting would allow its use in the liturgy, although this can hardly have been intended.

External websites:

Original text and translations

Latin.png Latin text

Descendit de cœlis, missus ab arce Patris, introivit per aurem virginis in regionem nostram, indutus stola purpurea.
Et exivit per auream portam, lux et decus universæ fabricæ mundi.

German.png German translation

Er stieg von den Himmeln herab, gesandt von der Burg des Vaters, trat durch das Ohr der Jungfrau in unser Gebiet ein, angetan mit purpurner Stola.
Und er ging hinaus durch die goldene Pforte, Licht und Zierde der gesamten Kunstfertigkeit der Welt.