Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Whale Song Project

Whales | Home
Welcome to the Whale Song Project You can help marine researchers understand what whales are saying. Listen to the large sound and find the small one that matches it best. Click 'Help' below for an interactive guide
Quite wonderful. Go here.

("And there is that Leviathan, which you have made for the sport of it!")

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Advent Vespers Hymn: Conditor alme siderum ("Creator of the stars of night")

Here's the plainchant Latin version of this hymn for Evensong in Advent, sung by Cistercian monks (from Stift Heiligenkreuz in Vienna); it's really a lovely melody.

Here's a version in English sung by Ely Cathedral Choir:

And the Latin and English (slightly different than those used in the video) words:

Conditor alme siderum
aetérna lux credéntium
Christe redémptor
ómnium exáudi preces súpplicum

Qui cóndolens intéritu
mortis perire saeculum
salvásti mundum languidum
donnas reis remedium.

Vergénte mundi véspere
uti sponsus de thálamo
egréssus honestissima
Virginis matris cláusula.

Cuius forti ponténtiae
genu curvántur ómnia
caeléstia, terréstia
nutu faténtur súbdita.

Te, Sancte fide quáesumus,
venture iudex sáeculi,
consérva nos in témpore
hostis a telo perfidi.

Sit, Christe rex piissime
tibi Patríque glória
cum Spíritu Paráclito
in sempitérna sáecula.
Creator of the stars of night,
Thy people's everlasting light,
Jesu, Redeemer, save us all,
and hear Thy servants when they call.

Thou, grieving that the ancient curse
should doom to death a universe,
hast found the medicine, full of grace,
to save and heal a ruined race.

Thou camest, the Bridegroom of the Bride,
as drew the world to evening tide,
proceeding from a virgin shrine,
the spotless Victim all divine.

At whose dread Name, majestic now,
all knees must bend, all hearts must bow;
and things celestial Thee shall own,
and things terrestrial Lord alone.

O Thou whose coming is with dread,
to judge and doom the quick and dead,
preserve us, while we dwell below,
from every insult of the foe.

To God the Father, God the Son,
and God the Spirit, Three in One,
laud, honor, might, and glory be
from age to age eternally.

And here's something a little more out there - but still lovely, I think.  Ensemble Nu:n is, apparently, a German/Canadian ensemble that performs some of the chant repertoire in their own style.

They've also posted a video of the Lauds hymn for Advent, Vox clara Ecce Intonat.

It'll be interesting to see what they come up with over time. The hymns for the Advent Office are posted here on this blog.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Audite Verbum: An Advent Matins Responsory

Canto ambrosiano, Avvento, Responsorio AUDITE VERBUM, Schola Gregoriana Mediolanensis, Giovanni Vianini, Milano, Italia - YouTube

That's an Ambrosian Chant version of the Advent Responsory, Audite verbum.

Here's something about this Responsory from the 1918 book, Liturgica historica: papers on the liturgy and religious life of the Western church, available in full at the Google Books link. (Psst, Derek: It looks like quite a good resource!)
At the end of each lesson for matins, i. e. the night office, is a long responsory which, in its simplest form, is thus made up: first, a biblical text (or an adaptation of one), which is the 'responsory' in a strict sense; on which follows a 'verse', also from Scripture; and after that the second half (or part) of the preceding 'responsory'.

For instance, .... the responsory at the end of the eighth lesson at matins of the first Sunday of Advent:—Responsory: 'Audite verbum Domini gentes, et annuntiate illud in finibus terrae *. Et insulis quae procul sunt dicite: Salvator noster adveniet.' Verse: 'Annuntiate, et auditum facite: loquimini et clamate.' And then comes a repetition of the second half of the 'responsory' proper: * Et insulis quae procul sunt dicite: Salvator noster adveniet.' It is obvious that, with an arrangement of this kind, to be tolerable at all the ' verse' must be such that its last words, when followed by the second half of the 'responsory', will make sense and form a continuous phrase. But the authentic and native Roman method of singing these responsories knew no need for such clever dovetailings; for according to that Roman method the ' responsory' was simply repeated in its entirety after the 'verse'.

The translation found at Divinum Offocium for this Responsory (along with the entire service of Matins - another good resource) is:
R. Hear the word of the Lord, O ye nations, and declare it in the ends of the earth * And in the isles afar off, and say Our Saviour shall come.
V. Declare it and make it known, lift up your voice and cry aloud.
R. And in the isles afar off, and say Our Saviour shall come.

The Medieval Music Database has a page on this responsory, as well, along with a page from The Poissy Antiphonal. This is a different tune, though:

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Advent Prose, 2011

Advent Prose - YouTube

Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour forth righteousness: let the earth be fruitful, and bring forth a Saviour.

Be not very angry, O Lord, neither remember our iniquity for ever:
thy holy cities are a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation:
our holy and our beautiful house, where our fathers praised thee.

Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour forth righteousness: let the earth be fruitful, and bring forth a Saviour.

We have sinned, and are as an unclean thing,
and we all do fade as a leaf:
our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away;
thou hast hid thy face from us:
and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities.

Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour forth righteousness: let the earth be fruitful, and bring forth a Saviour.

Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen;
that ye may know me and believe me:
I, even I, am the Lord, and beside me there is no Saviour:
and there is none that can deliver out of my hand.

Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour forth righteousness: let the earth be fruitful, and bring forth a Saviour.

Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, my salvation shall not tarry:
I have blotted out as a thick cloud thy transgressions:
fear not for I will save thee:
for I am the Lord thy god, the holy one of Israel, thy Redeemer.

Here's the chant score with Latin words, from the Liber Usualis:

From this page:
The Advent Prose is a series of texts adapted from the book of the prophet Isaiah, and said, or more usually sung, in churches during the season of Advent. In its Latin form, it is attributed to Aurelius Clemens Prudentius, who lived in the fourth century. The English translation is traditional. It is most common in high church Anglican or Roman Catholic churches, but no doubt known elsewhere as well. There are several ways of singing it, but a common one is for the Rorate section, shown here with emphasis to be sung as a chorus, and for the choir to take the verses, with the chorus alternating. Although the English text says 'Drop down, ye heavens...', the Latin verb rorare actually means 'to make or deposit dewdrops', a fact which evaded me when I first came to the piece. Similarly, justum in the second line means 'the just man', rather than 'righteousness'.

More from New Advent:

(Vulgate, text), the opening words of Isaiah 45:8. The text is used frequently both at Mass and in the Divine Office during Advent, as it gives exquisite poetical expression to the longings of Patriarchs and Prophets, and symbolically of the Church, for the coming of the Messias. Throughout Advent it occurs daily as the versicle and response at Vespers. For this purpose the verse is divided into the versicle, "Rorate coeli desuper et nubes pluant justum" (Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the just), and the response: "Aperiatur terra et germinet salvatorem" (Let the earth be opened and send forth a Saviour"). The text is also used: (a) as the Introit for the Fourth Sunday in Advent, for Wednesday in Ember Week, for the feast of the Expectation of the Blessed Virgin, and for votive Masses of the Blessed Virgin during Advent; (b) as a versicle in the first responsory of Tuesday in the first week of Advent; (c) as the first antiphon at Lauds for the Tuesday preceding Christmas and the second antiphon at Matins of the Expectation of the Blessed Virgin; (d) in the second responsory for Friday of the third week of Advent and in the fifth responsory in Matins of the Expectation of the Blessed Virgin. In the "Book of Hymns" (Edinburgh, 1910), p. 4, W. Rooke-Ley translates the text in connection with the O Antiphons:

Mystic dew from heaven
Unto earth is given:
Break, O earth, a Saviour yield —
Fairest flower of the field".

The exquisite Introit plain-song may be found in in the various editions of the Vatican Graduale and the Solesmes "Liber Usualis", 1908, p. 125. Under the heading, "Prayer of the Churches of France during Advent", Dom Guéranger (Liturgical Year, Advent tr., Dublin, 1870, pp. 155-6) gives it as an antiphon to each of a series of prayers ("Ne irascaris", "Peccavimus", "Vide Domine", "Consolamini") expressive of penitence, expectation, comfort, and furnishes the Latin text and an English rendering of the Prayer. The Latin text and a different English rendering are also given in the Baltimore "Manual of Prayers" (pp. 603-4). A plain-song setting of the "Prayer", or series of prayers, is given in the Solesmes "Manual of Gregorian Chant" (Rome-Tournai, 1903, 313-5) in plain-song notation, and in a slightly simpler form in modern notation in the "Roman Hymnal" (New York, 1884, pp. 140-3), as also in "Les principaux chants liturgiques" (Paris, 1875, pp. 111-2) and 'IRecueil d'anciens et de nouveaux cantiques notés" (Paris, 1886, pp. 218-9).

For the Latin version, and some polyphonic settings, see these posts from last year.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Monastic Compline - Complete, in Latin with English Translation

No indication at the YouTube page as to where this is from; the video says the audio is from 1986. It's the whole service, 25 minutes long, and includes the Salve Regina.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Christ the King, continued

Today's Festival Eucharist for Christ the King at St. Thomas Fifth Avenue was superb; I highly recommend listening. The music was magnificent, and a kind of compendium across the centuries of all kinds of "Christ the King"-ly music. Although in my opinion Coronation is certainly not the right tune for the opening hymn, "All hail the power of Jesus' name"; that would course be Diadem:

Sometimes the Methodists - and the Lutherans and the Mennonites - just have a better idea when it comes to hymns.

In any case, the choir sang, as the Offertory, James MacMillan's polyphonic setting of the introit/acclamation/chant Christus Vincit. Here's a video of this really gorgeous piece:

And here's a very nice video of the plainchant version, labeled "Medieval Gregorian Chant," from Corpus Christi Watershed. Below that is an image of the first page of the chant itself, from the (RCC) Parish Book of Chant (see it in this PDF starting on page 103):

This piece is, apparently, intended to be sung "In Honor of Christ the King" in the Roman Catholic Church. (I'm not sure whether that means it should be sung on the Feast Day or not - but it is, apparently, used that way at least occasionally.) Anglicans sometimes sing one of the various settings of Christus Vincit at Easter - but of course, if singing this plainchant version we'd (most of us, anyway!) excise the section of the plainchant dedicated to the Pope. EWTN titles the "Christus Vincit" text as "Acclamations VIII Cent., Ambrosian Chant (Variant)." It seems to have been used at various coronations - both secular and religious (i.e., the crowning of the Pope) - throughout European history (see this page for more about all that). New Advent has a bit about the chant, here, in a section called "Growth of liturgical acclamations" - and introduced by this sentence: "It seems highly probable that the practices observed in the election of the Pagan emperors were the prototype of most of the liturgical acclamations now known to us."
Almost contemporary with [the above acclamations] are the acclamations found in our English Egbert Pontifical (probably compiled before 769) which with other English manuscripts has preserved to us the earliest detailed account of a coronation in the West. The text is a little uncertain, but probably should read as follows:
Then let the whole people say three times along with the bishops and the priests; 'May our King, N., live for ever' (Vivat Rex N. in sempiternum). And he shall be confirmed upon the throne of the kingdom with the blessing of all the people while the great Lords kiss him, saying: 'For ever. Amen, amen, amen.'
There is also in the Egbertine ritual a sort of litany closely resembling the imperial acclamations just referred to, and this may be compared with the elaborate set of laudes, technically so called, which belong to the time of Charlemagne and have been printed by Duchesne in his edition of the Liber Pontificalis, II, 37. In these imperial laudes the words Christus vincit, Christus regnat, Christus imperat (Christ conquers, Christ reigns, Christ commands), nearly always find a place. It should be added that these acclamations or some similar feature have been retained to this day in the Eastern coronation rituals and in a few of Western origin, amongst others in that of England. Thus for the coronation of King Edward VII in 1902 the official ceremonial gave the following direction:
When the Homage is ended, the drums beat and the trumpets sound, and all the people shout, crying out: 'God save King Edward!' 'Long live King Edward!' 'May the King live for ever!'
Anglicans do not, in fact, officially celebrate Christ the King in the first place; for us, it's simply the Last Sunday after Pentecost. (Stephen Gerth of St. Mary the Virgin in New York explains the historical tradition of celebrating Christ as King at Epiphany; he says that "In origin, [the feast day of] Christ the King wasn’t about Christ; it was about the pope." There's more about that at the link; the holiday initially was set, in 1925, for the last Sunday in October, and the pope's encyclical stated that it was specifically in order to fight "anti-clericalism." I agree with Fr. Gerth that the compilers of the 1979 BCP did a really good thing by ignoring the origin of the Feast and moving the celebration of the Kingship of Christ to the last day of the Church Year - and without actually celebrating it as feast day. Nicely done indeed! It's a great day, I think - and I do like that Anglicans take the focus off the earthly "rulers," and put it entirely on Christ alone.) The current US BCP collect on this day is one that definitely focuses on the Christ the King theme:
Almighty and everlasting God, whose will it is to restore all things in your well-beloved Son, the King of kings and Lord of lords: Mercifully grant that the peoples of the earth, divided and enslaved by sin, may be freed and brought together under his most gracious rule; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Hatchett's Commentary has this about the collect:
This is a somewhat free translation by Capt. Howard E. Galley of the collect of the Feast of Christ the King in the Roman Missal. Christ is portrayed as the king who frees those who are bound and unites under His gracious rule all who are divided.
Not sure at all who "Capt. Howard E. Galley" is, though! The original collect for this day - this one's from the 1549 BCP - is the "Stir up" collect now used, in amended form, on Advent 3:
Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people, that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works, may of thee be plenteously rewarded; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.)
The St. Thomas Choir also sings a lovely setting of Dignus Est Agnus, the Introit for the day (I posted on that this past week), by Malcolm Williamson. That one's not on YouTube, so go have a listen to the service to hear it. You'll be quite happy, I predict, with Thomas Attwood's Anglican Chant setting of Psalm 100, too; it's the same tune as this one, used for Psalm 50.

And then of course, you really can't beat "Crown him with many crowns" to end the day - some of the very best lyric anywhere.  This video comes from Queen Elizabeth II's 50th Jubilee, and it's moving to think about her, a "crowned head" herself, having made this choice:  "Crown Him the Lord of Lords, Who over all doth reign."

You can find all nine verses here, but we sing only these four:
Crown Him With Many Crowns

Crown Him with many crowns,
The Lamb upon His throne;
Hark! How the heavenly anthem drowns
All music but its own!
Awake, my soul and sing
Of Him who died for thee,
And hail Him as thy matchless King
Through all eternity.

Crown Him the Lord of life,
Who triumphed o’er the grave,
And rose victorious through the strife
For those He came to save.
His glories now we sing,
Who died and rose on high,
Who died eternal life to bring
And lives that death may die.

Crown Him the Lord of Lords,
Who over all doth reign,
Who once on earth, the incarnate Word
For ransomed sinners slain
Now lives in realms of light
Where saints with angels sing
Their songs before Him day and night,
Their God, Redeemer, King.

Crown Him the Lord of heaven,
Enthroned in worlds above;
Crown Him the King to whom is given
The wondrous name of Love.
Crown Him with many crowns
As thrones before Him fall;
Crown Him, ye kings, with many crowns
For He is King of all.

I do adore the music and textual themes on this day. Yes, I do.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Novermber 20th, Christ the King: Dignus Est Agnus ("Worthy is the Lamb")

Although Anglicans do not officially celebrate the Feast of Christ the King this Sunday (on our Calendar, it's "The Last Sunday After Pentecost" or "Proper 29"), some of us do observe it anyway - and the Collect for the day is a Kingly one:
Almighty and everlasting God, whose will it is to restore all things in your well-beloved Son, the King of kings and Lord of lords: Mercifully grant that the peoples of the earth, divided and enslaved by sin, may be freed and brought together under his most gracious rule; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
The Introit for the Day, Dignus Est Agnus, comes from Revelation 5:

Below is the score from JoguesChant and also their English translation:

The Lamb who has been slain is worthy to receive power, and divinity, and wisdom, and strength, and honour; let glory and dominion be his for ever and ever. Endow the King with your judgment, O God, and the King's son with your righteousness.

Handel set this text, too, of course, as the last movement (along with "Amen") of Messiah:

And just as in the oratorio, the Church Year ends on that note; you can just start Messiah over again next week, with Comfort ye my people.

This, though, is by far the most-known version of "Worthy is the Lamb" on YouTube:

I must say I quite like the refrain; it's powerful and the words are great. As much as I like chant - and I do - I'm very interested in songs like this that everybody can sing. The Chant Proper texts set to simple but powerful tunes for the whole congregation; that's a worthy goal, I think.

The Old Testament reading this week is from Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24:
34:11 For thus says the Lord GOD: I myself will search for my sheep, and will seek them out.

34:12 As shepherds seek out their flocks when they are among their scattered sheep, so I will seek out my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places to which they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness.

34:13 I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land; and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the watercourses, and in all the inhabited parts of the land.

34:14 I will feed them with good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel shall be their pasture; there they shall lie down in good grazing land, and they shall feed on rich pasture on the mountains of Israel.

34:15 I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I will make them lie down, says the Lord GOD.

34:16 I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, but the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them with justice.

34:20 Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD to them: I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep.

34:21 Because you pushed with flank and shoulder, and butted at all the weak animals with your horns until you scattered them far and wide,

34:22 I will save my flock, and they shall no longer be ravaged; and I will judge between sheep and sheep.

34:23 I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd.

34:24 And I, the LORD, will be their God, and my servant David shall be prince among them; I, the LORD, have spoken.

Here's a page called "Homage to the Lamb" (c. 1000) from the (German) "Bamberg Apocalypse":

And here's something by an unknown German painter or painters: "Vision of St. John Evangelist" from c. 1450:

There are actually quite a few intricately (or colorfully!) illustrated Apocalypses out there; check 'em out.

Worcester, Protestant Cathedral: "Like As The Hart"

Worcester, Protestant Cathedral: "Like As The Hart" - YouTube

A wonderful Herbert Howells anthem; text from Psalm 42.

Here's the Coverdale version of the Psalm; this piece uses just the first 3 verses:

Psalm 42. Quemadmodum
LIKE as the hart desireth the water-brooks : so longeth my soul after thee, O God.
2. My soul is athirst for God, yea, even for the living God : when shall I come to appear before the presence of God?
3. My tears have been my meat day and night : while they daily say unto me, Where is now thy God?
4. Now when I think thereupon, I pour out my heart by myself : for I went with the multitude, and brought them forth into the house of God;
5. In the voice of praise and thanksgiving : among such as keep holy-day.
6. Why art thou so full of heaviness, O my soul : and why art thou so disquieted within me?
7. Put thy trust in God : for I will yet give him thanks for the help of his countenance.
8. My God, my soul is vexed within me : therefore will I remember thee concerning the land of Jordan, and the little hill of Hermon.
9. One deep calleth another, because of the noise of the water-pipes : all thy waves and storms are gone over me.
10. The Lord hath granted his loving-kindness in the day-time : and in the night-season did I sing of him, and made my prayer unto the God of my life.
11. I will say unto the God of my strength, Why hast thou forgotten me : why go I thus heavily, while the enemy oppresseth me?
12. My bones are smitten asunder as with a sword : while mine enemies that trouble me cast me in the teeth;
13. Namely, while they say daily unto me : Where is now thy God?
14. Why art thou so vexed, O my soul : and why art thou so disquieted within me?
15. O put thy trust in God : for I will yet thank him, which is the help of my countenance, and my God.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...