Wednesday, July 03, 2013

O Sacrum Convivium VI: Tomás Luis de Victoria

O sacrum convivium is the Antiphon upon Magnificat at Second Vespers of Corpus Christi; it's a beautiful, mystical hymn in praise of the Blessed Sacrament.  St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) wrote the text, which has been set by many composers.  The Gregorian melody is particularly lovely; listen to it in the 2nd video below. 

Here's a wonderful O Sacrum Convivium for 6 voices, by Tomás Luis de Victoria:

O sacrum convivium!
in quo Christus sumitur:
recolitur memoria passionis ejus:
mens impletur gratia:
et futurae gloriae nobis pignus datur.

O sacred banquet!
in which Christ is received,
the memory of his Passion is renewed,
the mind is filled with grace,
and a pledge of future glory to us is given.

Here, the Belgian chant group Psallentes sings the splendid Gregorian antiphon - no less beautiful than any polyphonic setting!  They include this note: "The antiphon O sacrum convivium, from a sixteenth century Turnhout processionale (Flanders, ca. 1550)."

HT Luis Henriques.

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