Celsi tonantis (Johannes Regis)

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  • CPDL #30594:     
Editor: John Hetland (submitted 2013-11-23).   Score information: Letter, 12 pages, 696 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Source: Opera omnia, ed. C. W. H. Lindenburg, vol II (vol. 9 of CMM, 1956). Notation here is at the original key with time values halved. We have made minor emendations to the rather corrupt text. Translation (with major help from Quintus Translation Service), text underlay and musica ficta by John Hetland and the Renaissance Street Singers. 4 Sep 2002.

General Information

Title: Celsi tonantis
Composer: Johannes Regis

Number of voices: 5vv   Voicing: SATTB
Genre: SacredMotet

Language: Latin
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1498 in Chigi codex, no. 32

Description: Without naming names, addresses the Virgin Mary as the mother of Zeus. Cantus firmus on Abrahae fit promissio.

External websites:

Original text and translations

Latin.png Latin text

Célsi tonántis áve génitrix súblimis Olÿmpi,
Império pótens cúnctis dominánsque supérnis,
Quam chórus angélicus rutilánte lúce perénni
Se súper attóllens láudat, cólit et veneratur
Horrendíque cháos cétus cúi pátet avérni,
Nam tu célsa pólo profundáque sciris abysso.
Quis tíbi stélla máris éxpers párit álma María?
Quis tíbi, vírgo párens, condígna reférre valébit
Aut quíbus aut quántus et quálibet ípsa corúscas?
Poénis cruciánda baráthri per te nunc áditum gaúdet
Reperísse quiétis.

Nam pátris ingéniti génitus quo cúncta regúntur:
Alta dúcum súperans regúmque sublímia víncens
Nobílium pótens nútu fastígia férens.
Quaténus ípse súo dónet nos númine fúngi?
Pátrem non cédens in te descéndit ab álto órbe,
Gémens fácinus protoplásti spónte perémptus.
Hic chórus fúndit tíbi láudum modulámina,
Te rógitans nátum pro nóbis ut préce púlses. Amen

CANTUS FIRMUS:
Abrahae
fit promíssio
quod illíus succéssio
vélut aréna crésceret stellísque aequális fíeret.
 

English.png English translation

Hail mother of the lofty Thunderer of high Olympus,
Mighty in your power and ruling all the host of heaven,
Whom the angelic chorus, as you glow in eternal light,
Exalting you above itself, praises, worships and reveres,
And whom the chaos of the assembly of the dread Avernus obeys,
For you are known aloft in heaven and deep in the abyss.
Who gives birth without your help, loving Mary, Star of the Sea?
Who, Virgin Mother, will be able to repay you as you deserve,
Whatever or however much, and wherever you yourself radiate?
She who was to be tortured by punishments in the abyss now rejoices that,
Through you, she has discovered the way to peace.

For your son is the offspring of the Father, by whom the world is governed:
Overpowering the lofty palaces of leaders and surpassing those of kings,
Powerful with a nod, bearing the vanity of nobles.
How long would he give us to do his will?
Not leaving the Father, he descended into you from the world on high,
Sorrowing for the sin of the first human, and accepting death willingly.
This chorus pours forth hymns of praise to you,
Begging you to move your son with prayer for us. Amen.


To Abraham
the promise was made
that his descendants
would grow like grains of sand and equal the stars in number.