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Medieval Music Database

Altissonis aptatis; Hin principes; Tonans

Four-voice anonymous motet


Ivrea: Biblioteca Capitolare 115, fol. 2v-3 (4/2).


1. Motets of French Provenance, edited by Frank Ll. Harrison, Monaco: Editions de L'Oiseau-Lyre, 1968. Polyphonic Music of the Fourteenth Century V, p. 7.
2. Three 14th-Century Motets in Honour of Gaston Fébus, edited by Peter Lefferts, Devon: Antico Edition AE 23, 1986, p. 1.


BESSELER, Heinrich. 'Studien zur Musik des Mittelalters. I. Neue Quellen des 14. und beginnenden 15. Jahrhunderts', Archiv für Musikwissenschaft, VII (1925): 167-252.


Febus Avant!, Huelgas Ensemble, directed by Paul van Nevel (1991): Sony Classical SK 48 195.



Altissonis aptatis viribus
Modulando laxatis vocibus

Plus solito cupio psallere
Nimbus Dey ni desit ubere.

Meis fibris ruptis in laudibus
Et thoracis carbasis sordibus.

Foras pulsis ut queam libere
Super cunctos magis extollere.

Jam Guastonem datum suxensibus
Nam Alsidis hic par in omnibus.

Nec Absolon opes avertere
Nec alumpnus turpe relinquere.

Novit prorsus Cartos hominibus
Sive Cathos cunctis in laudibus.

Et Stoycis tropos se jungere
Sic qui fantur felicem vivere.

Si Salonis monitionibus
Polis scandas per maris fluctibus.

Tetragonum sic sis te dicere
Vere possum rethos diligere.

Ergo surge versus latronibus
Qui nos premunt tantis doloribus.

(Ac) armatis fugatis vulnere
Machabeis sis par in opere.

Ut Samsonis assumptis viribus
Flos exurgat ex tuis manibus.

Sic tragitis pesseus pandere
Pressis vatis hunc tuis dolere.

Comes sic te salvati frondibus
In arboribus cenis fructibus.


Hin principes qui presunt seculi
Euripedis apreo balia.

Dionidis sorte latrunculi
Eva vivit verbis equalia.

Qui fabricant in manu figuli
Seseque dant ad queque vilia.

Nam leonis mordaces catuli
Celte feris dant alimonia.

Et Gallorum nostri vernaculi
Flent leonis dura vestigia.

Quam liceat magis dant singuli
Set larvati tollunt duplicia.

Sic sunt caymis orbatis laculi
Juste rey grandi servicia.

(Dum) Philotum Cyrones reguli
Sunt habere digni palacia.

Donec Febus tenore tytuli
Quippe novi cuncta gignasia.

Clam exurgat quem cunctis pretuli
De juvento qui fero talia.

Legi potest in ore populi
Quod non dabit finem malicia.

Ut pereant in ictu occuli
Et hic querat tempe celestia.



With my sublime strength marshalled.
singing in relaxed tones.

I desire more than usual to sing praise.
that the spirit of God not cease to be generous.

with all the fibres of my body broken in praise.
and the dirty linens of my chest cast away

so that I might be able freely to extoll
above all others

Gaston, (who is) now given to the singers;
for he is the equal of Hercules in all things.

and not an Absolon who steals wealth.
nor yet a scholar who shamefully gives it up.

he came to know Cartos directly by its men.
and Catos in all its song.

and to join himself to the ways of the Stoics.
who say: "this is how one is to be happy."

If by Solonic counsel you climb to great heights
through the waves of the sea.

you will then be a perfectly rounded man; truly I am able
to say that you love reason (the rational).

Therefore, rise up against the thieves
that oppress us with so many sufferings.

and with the armed men put to flight in defeat.
be equal to the Maccabees in deeds.

so that when you have taken on the strength of Samson.
a flower may rise up out of your hands;

thus you influence the (flower?) to unfold.
you urge it to grieve for your soothsayers.

Count (Gaston), thus we are saved by you
through the leaves on the fruit tree of Cenis.


Are these the princes who lead the way in this world?
(Here I include the dapped horses of Euripedes.)

They are brigands of Diomedes's kind
(Eve lives on words equal to their words);

they are potters who create in the hand
and who give themselves to all sorts of vice;

for these snapping whelps of the lion
are giving aid to the beasts of Celta

And our native-born of the French
weep at the harsh treads of the lion;

all of them individually give more than the norm.
but the deceivers take away twice as much;

thus they are as little pits when the fratricidal brothers
have been left fatherless, justly the slaves to a great king;

Are these thieves, petty princes
worthy to take over the palaces?

Until Febus, true to the sense of his nickname
(for I understand all of these intellectual games).

should secretly arise (whom I declared to all.
I who proclaim these things about the youth).

it can be read in the sayings of the people
that malice will never end.

Let them perish in the twinkling of an eye!
But let him seek the celestial values.

Text revision and translation © Lefferts: F~ebus 86# 20

Content Approved by: MMDB Director
Last updated: Wednesday, 19 March 2003

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