William Child
(1606 - 1697)

Child : Quem vidistis pastores? : illustration

Quem vidistis pastores?
(S.A.T.B. Continuo)
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Best performed by single voices or (following the editorial cues) as a verse anthem.

Child himself was emphatically of the Anglican episcopal tradition. The current piece is one of a dozen in Latin which survive in a single manuscript source, and were uncirculated in his lifetime. Child wrote psalms in this modern Italian style (but in English), "Fitt for private Chappells or other private meetings". It is possible that the Latin anthems were written for similar use, at the request of a Catholic patron, perhaps in the circle of Queen Henrietta Maria.
Lyrics: Latin Antiphon

Quem vidistis, pastores? Dicite, annuntiate nobis, in terris quis apparuit.
Natum vidimus et choros angelorum collaudantes Dominum. Alleluia.
Dicite, quidnam vidistis? et annuntiate Christi nativitatem. Alleluia

Whom did you see, shepherds? Speak and tell us: who has appeared on earth?
We saw the new-born and choirs of angels praising the Lord.
Tell us what you have seen, and announce Christ's nativity. Alleluia.