ERONICA BRANDT recently alerted to me to a piece I’d never heard of: Stella Caeli Exstirpavit—“plainsong during time of plague.” I see that young ladies from the fabulous new Brébeuf Virtual Choir have recorded this piece, and I have no idea how they were able to accomplish this virtually. I understand how metrical (“rhythmic”) pieces are recorded virtually, but pieces in free rhythm are impossible…at least that’s what I thought until I heard their gorgeous rendition:
* PDF Download • Stella Caeli Exstirpavit
—Common melody • Gregorian Chant During Times Of Pestilence.
* PDF Download • Alternate Melody
—Alternate melody • Gregorian Chant During Times Of Pestilence.
Watch Out For Typos!
Some differences don’t matter. For example, “exstirpavit” and “extirpavit” are both correct, just as “exsultet” and “exultet” are both correct. The same is true for “coeli” and “caeli”—these are orthographical changes of little consequence. One the other hand, certain versions have “plántavit”—a major error:
It should be “plantávit,” as you can see here:
Also, it is “dignétur” not “dignátur,” as you can see:
Latin With English Translation
Stella coeli exstirpávit,
quae lactávit Dóminum:
Star of Heaven,
who nourished the Lord
Mortis pestem quam plantávit
primus parens hóminum.
and rooted up the plague of death
which our first parents planted;
Ipsa stella nunc dignétur
may that star now deign
to hold in check the constellations
quorum bella plebem coedunt
dirae mortis úlcere.
whose strife grants the people
the ulcers of a terrible death.
O piíssima stella maris,
a peste succúrre nobis,
O glorious star of the sea,
save us from the plague.
Audi nos, Dómina, nam Fílius tuus
nihil negans te honórat.
Hear us, O Lady, for thy Son,
denying nothing, honors thee.
Salva nos, Jesu, pro quibus
Virgo Mater te orat!
Save us, Jesus! For us,
the Virgin Mother entreats Thee.
Further Information • “Stella Coeli Extirpavit”
* ARTICLE ON STELLA CAELI • Canticum Salomonis
—Contains interesting historical versions of “Stélla Cœ́li Extirpávit.”
* ARTICLE ON STELLA CAELI • Christopher Macklin
—This is a PDF download from Cambridge University Press.
* ARTICLE ON STELLA CAELI • Dr. Eleanor Parker
—Published on “A Clerk of Oxford,” which is an interesting blog.
* ARTICLE ON STELLA CAELI • Dr. Aaron James
—Dr. James also reviewed the Brébeuf hymnal for the Antiphon Journal.
* ARTICLE ON STELLA CAELI • Veronica Brandt
—Containing several versions of a “clean” score (Gregorio).