Afferentur regi

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Afferentur regi
Motet by Anton Bruckner
Afferentur (Skizze).jpg
Draft of Afferentur regi, page 1
KeyF major
CatalogueWAB 1
DedicationJohann Baptist Burgstaller (1885)
Performed31 December 1861 (1861-12-31): St. Florian Abbey
Published1922 (1922): Vienna
VocalSATB choir
Instrumental3 trombones ad lib.

Afferentur regi (Led to the king), WAB 1, is a motet, which Anton Bruckner composed on 7 November 1861 on the text of the Offertorium of the Missa pro Virgine et Martyre.[1]


Afferentur regi is the second of the two "great motets" during a "fruitful though brief" period of Bruckner's compositional career following Sechter's tuition, the other motet being the Ave Maria WAB 6.[2] Afferentur regi was premiered in St. Florian Abbey on the feast day of Saint Lucy, 13 December 1861.[3]

An early draft for choir alone was found in a monastic archive at Kremsmünster Abbey. The original manuscript is not extant, but several transcriptions were found in the archive of St. Florian Abbey.[1] Many years later, in 1885, Bruckner dedicated the work as an Offertorium als Graduale (offertory as gradual) to Johann Baptist Burgstaller, choir director of the New Cathedral in Linz.[1]

The work was edited in 1922 as an addendum to band 11–12 of Musica Divina, Vienna.[1] It is put in Band XXI/21 of the Gesamtausgabe.[4]


The text is derived from Psalms 45:15-16, which is Psalm 44 in the Vulgata.

Adducentur regi virgines post eam;
proximae ejus afferentur tibi.
Afferentur in laetitia et exsultatione;
adducentur in templum regis.

She is led to the king,
with the young women, her friends.
With joy and laughter shall they be brought to you!
a grand entrance to the king's palace![5]


Draft of Afferentur regi, page 2

The 38-bars piece scored in F major for mixed choir and three trombones ad libitum is a polyphonic offertory. The piece is in ternary form, with an opening motive drawn from a pre-existing Latin plainchant.[3] In the first part (bars 1-7), "Afferentur regi" is sung in canon by the alto and tenor voices, and with inverted motif by the bass and soprano voices. A similar pattern is repeated in bars 8-15 on "proximae ejus". The middle section (bars 15-24), which begins with "et exultatione" by the bass, similarly as "usque in aeternum" in bars 299-309 of Bruckner's later Te Deum,[6] is stylistically similar to faux bourdon, a technique employed primarily in medieval and Renaissance music.[3] It is followed by a general pause. The third part (bars 25-38) on "adducentur in templum" begins as the first part and ends on a pedal point on the tonic.[6]

Keith W. Kinder suggests that its use of counterpoint may be a reflection of Bruckner's sense of liberation from the "prohibition on free composition" imposed by his former composition teacher, Simon Sechter.[3] Dermot Gault notes that in this work Bruckner "wears his learning lightly" in the contrapuntal writing.[7]

Brucker quotet from the Afferentur regi in the movement Qui cum Patre et Filio, part of the Credo of the Mass in D minor.

Selected discography[edit]

Bruckner's Afferentur regi was recorded at first in 1965 by Giulio Bertola with the Coro Polifonico Italiano a cappella (LP: Angelicum LPA 5989)

A selection of the about 30 recordings:


  1. ^ a b c d van Zwol, Cornelis (2012). Anton Bruckner – Leven en Werken. Thot. pp. 704–705. ISBN 90-686-8590-2.
  2. ^ Howie, Crawford; Hawkshaw, Paul; Jackson, Timothy (eds) (2000). Perspectives on Anton Bruckner. Ashgate Publishing. p. 3. ISBN 978-0-7546-0110-4.
  3. ^ a b c d Kinder, Keith William (2000). The Wind and Wind-Chorus Music of Anton Bruckner. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 41–43.
  4. ^ Gesamtausgabe – Kleine Kirchenmusikwerke
  5. ^ Afferentur regi on ChoralWiki
  6. ^ a b M. Auer, pp. 64-65
  7. ^ Gault, Dermot. The New Bruckner. Ashgate. p. 13. ISBN 978-1-4094-9421-8.
  8. ^ Bruckner, Anton (composer); Stenov, Michael (conductor) (2006-11-26). Motette "Afferentur regi" à 4 voces und 3 Posaunen (Online video). YouTube. Retrieved 2014-12-29.


  • Max Auer, Anton Bruckner als Kirchenmusiker, G. Bosse, Regensburg, 1927
  • Anton Bruckner – Sämtliche Werke, Band XXI: Kleine Kirchenmusikwerke, Musikwissenschaftlicher Verlag der Internationalen Bruckner-Gesellschaft, Hans Bauernfeind and Leopold Nowak (Editor), Vienna, 1984/2001
  • Cornelis van Zwol, Anton Bruckner 1824–1896 – Leven en werken, uitg. Thoth, Bussum, Netherlands, 2012. ISBN 978-90-6868-590-9

External links[edit]