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Hec est preclarum vas
?M. Sampson


Transcription by Theodor Dumitrescu

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Sources listed in database

Source Loc. Title Voices Attribution
HEc est preclarum vas


LonBLR 11 E.xi
Hec est preclarum vas incipit: LonBLR 11 E.xi


Hec est preclarum vas paracliti spiritus sancti

hec est gloriosa ciuitas Dei

hec est mulier virtutis que contriuit caput serpentis

hec est sole speciosior luna pulcrior aurora rutilantior stellis preclarior

hanc peccatores deuote adeamus

rea pectora tundamus dicentes.

Sancta maria

clemens et pia

Domina nostra

fac nos tuis precibus consortes celestis glorie amen.
She is the bright vessel of the Holy Spirit, the paraclete.

She is the glorious city of God.

She is the woman of virtue, who wounded the serpent's head.

She is more splendid than the sun, more beauteous than the moon, more shining than the dawn, brighter than the stars.

Let us go to her, sinners, with devotion,

Let us beat our guilty breasts, saying:

Holy Mary,

Merciful and devoted,

Our Lady,

By your prayers, make us partakers of heavenly glory. Amen.

Editor's Commentary

The text of this composition appears from the late 15th century onward coupled with various monophonic melodies in sources of Flemish and Dutch provenance; Ike de Loos characterizes the chant as "a true Netherlandish antiphon, which was unknown outside the Low Countries."[1] Assigned no fixed liturgical place, the settings of this text appear in various types of manuscripts (processionals, antiphonals, secular songbooks, etc.), employed as a prayer for protection against the plague in processions, at the end of mass, or in private devotions and paraliturgical contexts.[2] The present polyphonic version seems not to draw on the melodic material of either of the main monophonic versions - only a possible echo of the first few notes in both sections of the Mode 1 melody offers any hint that the composer of the polyphony had one of these melodies in mind.[3]

On the possibility that this composition is the work of "Sampson," see the Editor's Commentary to Quam pulcra es.

[1] "een echte Nederlandse antifoon, die buiten de Lage Landen niet bekend was." Ike de Loos, 'Een overclaer vat: een Maria-antifoon uit de late Middeleeuwen', Tijdschrift voor Gregoriaans, 27 (2002): 2-8; republished online in Jubilate, May and September 2004.

[2] See the listing of sources by Ike de Loos in Chant Behind the Dikes.

[3] Both monophonic melodies are presented in De Loos, 'Een overclaer vat.' The section openings of the Mode 1 version, ACD ("Hec") and GAB-fa ("Sancta"), correspond loosely to mm. 1 and 57 of the LonBLR 11 E.xi composition.

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