Sunday, December 20, 2009

O Oriens: O Morning-Star (2009)

December 20:

O Day-Spring, Brightness of the Light everlasting, and Sun of righteousness: Come and enlighten them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.




Go here to listen to the Boston Camerata version I like best of any.

And more from "Sapientia-tide: The Great O Antiphons."
Each antiphon begins with a metaphor, a title for Christ, most evoking not just a passage but whole swathes of Scripture. This metaphor is expanded by ancillary images and references that add depth and dimension to the Scriptural stories. Last, an imperative beseeches Christ to come and liberate us from sin, death, and darkness. As we take the words and images of the prophets in our mouths, we join their cry for the coming of the babe of Bethlehem. And speaking our own future, we call for the Coming King who will consummate the redemption of all creation. And—furthermore—we cry Christ into our own hearts, asking that the birth of the divine child be not only in history of distant days or future consummation but that we see, we experience, his redemptive resurrection power in our own flesh.

2 comments:

fresnocatholicworker said...

Really? The Boston Camerata version. I am surprised. Do you have some good references that explain the rationale for the ornamentation practices? Practices that would be demonstrated ("proven") by comparison of early manuscripts? That would be very interesting reading. --Bryan

bls said...

Not at all; I just like it. It sounds Mozarabic, to me, and I very much like that style. And this particular version is wonderful; it's ecstatic, really.

There are and have been many, many regional variations in chant styles and tunes; listen to the Hungarian "O" Antiphon "O Mundi Domina," sung on Christmas Eve, for instance (although the clip doesn't really give much of the tune, you can certainly tell it's quite different from the "standard" versions of the "O"s). There are other Great "O" Antiphons, also - some sung only in France, others only in England or elsewhere.

Nothing wrong with that, and plenty right, I'd say. I'm not very surprised by these things, actually, and in fact am almost always pleased to come across a variant.

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