Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Anglican Chant, the Fifth post

A lovely version of Psalm 91 from the Westminster Abbey Cathedral Choir.



The Coverdale translation:
Psalm 91: Qui habitat

WHOSO dwelleth under the defence of the most High : shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
2. I will say unto the Lord, Thou art my hope, and my strong hold : my God, in him will I trust.
3. For he shall deliver thee from the snare of the hunter : and from the noisome pestilence.
4. He shall defend thee under his wings, and thou shalt be safe under his feathers : his faithfulness and truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
5. Thou shalt not be afraid for any terror by night : nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
6. For the pestilence that walketh in darkness : nor for the sickness that destroyeth in the noon-day.
7. A thousand shall fall beside thee, and ten thousand at thy right hand : but it shall not come nigh thee.
8. Yea, with thine eyes shalt thou behold : and see the reward of the ungodly.
9. For thou, Lord, art my hope : thou hast set thine house of defence very high.
10. There shall no evil happen unto thee : neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
11. For he shall give his angels charge over thee : to keep thee in all thy ways.
12. They shall bear thee in their hands : that thou hurt not thy foot against a stone.
13. Thou shalt go upon the lion and adder : the young lion and the dragon shalt thou tread under thy feet.
14. Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him : I will set him up, because he hath known my Name.
15. He shall call upon me, and I will hear him : yea, I am with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and bring him to honour.
16. With long life will I satisfy him : and shew him my salvation.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Assumpta Est

Looking back over my blog(s) through the past few years, I realize I've posted something about all the Chant Propers for Assumption (i.e. for Episcopalians, "The Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary"), which is this Sunday, August 15.

The traditional Introit, Gaudeamus (replaced around 1950 by Pius VII by Signum Magnum); Audi Filia, the beautiful Gradual (also used as the Tract at Annunciation during Lent); and Beatam me dicent, the Communion hymn.

All of them, that is, except for Assumpta Est, the text used for both the Alleluia (mp3 here):


Alleluia, Alleluia. Mary has been taken up into heaven; the host of Angels rejoices. Alleluia.

and the Offertory (mp3 here):


Mary has been taken up into heaven; the Angels rejoice, praising the Lord together and blessing him, alleluia.

Those translations from the Latin are at JoguesChant, and so are the mp3s. (Chant score for the Alleluia is from the Benedictines of Brazil.)

Obviously, these are extra-Biblical texts; the Assumption is nowhere to be found in Scripture. I'm not sure if they come from a particular source, or whether they are just from someplace "in the air" around the idea of Assumption. They are short, so probably pretty hard to pin down to any one originator.

There are lots of polyphonic versions of the texts around, though, you can be sure! Here's Palestrina's version, a lovely, heavenly-sounding thing (with lots more extra-Biblical content!) Can't embed it, or I would; go listen, though - it's gorgeous.

Here's a version of the Offertory sung by "Sr. Marjo and company" and "Dedicated to all Assumptionists"; no idea where the music comes from, but I like it:



Here's another; not sure whose music this is, either, but beautiful. And what acoustics!



Palestrina and Charpentier both wrote Missa(e?) Assumpta Est Maria (and so probably did others!). Here's the Kyrie from Palestrina, and here's the one from Charpentier (wonderful period instruments, too), respectively:





There's lots more stuff out there, too.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Wow, Wow, Wow!

Well, I have a serious dilemma for this Sunday, "The Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary" (AKA Assumption):

St. Mary - or St. Thomas?
Mozart's Missa Brevis in C Major - or The Worcester Fragments (and check out the service leaftlet!)?
The St. Mary's Choir - or New York Polyphony?


Look at this musical lineup at St. Thomas!:
Sung by: New York Polyphony
Prelude: Ave Maris Stella I & II, from ‘Fifteen Pieces founded on Antiphons’, Op. 18, Marcel Dupré (1886-1971)
Prelude 2: Ave Maria, Ave Maris Stella, from ‘Trois Paraphrases Grégoriennes’, Op. 5, No. 2, Jean Langlais (1907-1991)
Service: 13th Century English Mass, from the Worcester Fragments (c. 1300)
Psalm: 34:1-9, Plainsong Chant (Tone VII2)
Anthem: Flors regalis, Andrew Smith (b. 1970)
Anthem 2: Beata viscera, Worcester Fragments
Voluntary: Magnificat primi toni, BuxWV 203, Dietrich Buxtehude (c. 1637-1707)

But then there's this, too, at St. Mary's:
The choral music on Sunday will be sung by Saint Mary’s Choir, accompanied by Mr. Timothy Brumfield. I will be director. The prelude is Fantasia in G Major, BWV 572 by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750). The setting of the Mass ordinary is Missa brevis C-dur, KV 259 (Orgelsolo) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791). An early work, this setting was probably composed in Salzburg in 1776. It is quite brief with a condensed setting of the text, as is the case with several of Mozart’s other masses of that period. This may be due to the views of the prince-archbishop Colloredo of Salzburg, who preferred simple and straightforward music during the liturgy. At the ministration of communion, the choir sings the motets Ave Maria by Robert Parsons (c. 1535-1571/2) and Maria virgo à 10 voci by Giovanni Gabrieli (c. 1554/1557-1612). Little is known of Parsons’ life, apart from the fact that he was a chorister in the Chapel Royal, and perhaps taught the young William Byrd. One of the most influential musicians of his time, Gabrieli represented the culmination of the Venetian school of composition. This motet features two choirs of five voices each.

Not a bad problem to have, I must admit....

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Two more for Transfiguration

First, Giovanni Vianini sings Tibi Dixit Cor Meum, which he labels as the Introit for the second Sunday in Lent ("Hebdomada secunda Quadragesimae"), but which is also given as the Introit for Transfiguration chez the Benedictines of Brazil.



The Brazilians say this comes from Psalm 27, vv 8-9, and 1, which are these:
8 My heart says of you, "Seek his [b] face!"
Your face, LORD, I will seek.

9 Do not hide your face from me,
do not turn your servant away in anger;
you have been my helper.
Do not reject me or forsake me,
O God my Savior.

1 The LORD is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?

Here's the score, from JoguesChant, which gives the translation as:
My heart declared to you: "Your countenance have I sought; I shall ever seek your countenance, O Lord; do not turn your face from me." The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?



Second, here's a pretty "early music" version of the first verse of Quicumque Christum queritis, a Transfiguration hymn for Matins and Vespers:



I've written about this hymn before; the words in Latin and English are at that link.

The caption at the YouTube page reads:
This video of a colonial Mexican song came from a performance of the Nashville Early Music Ensemble at Christ Church Cathedral in Downtown Nashville, TN on Tuesday, December 4. The Concert was entitled Feliz Navidad Canciónes de América Latina. The ensemble is designed to perform the vocal and instrumental music of the Medieval and Renaissance periods as well as traditional folk music from several world cultures. The twenty-member ensemble features musicians with diverse music backgrounds but all with experience in early music. The instruments featured in the concert will be viols, violin, rebec, lute, ud, guitars, psaltery, harp, recorders, and a wide variety of percussion. The director is Dr. Gerald Moore, a retired music professor from Lipscomb University, who taught music theory and directed the Lipscomb Early Music Consort for over twenty-five years. For more information on the NEME, visit their website at http://nashvilleearlymusic.blogspot.com

Friday, August 06, 2010

Matins for the Transfiguration of Our Lord

Something interesting here! These are clearly Orthodox (Byzantine?) chants - yet this video is labeled: Service of Matins, 2008 February 4: Monday, 12:00 AM, Concordia University Wisconsin, Rogate Chapel. Hmmm.

Well, I like these chants anyway, so here's the video; there are several that follow this one. Will try to find out more about what this is about.



Love that Venite!

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