Saturday, March 27, 2010

Hosanna, Filio David!

Here's Giovanni Vianini singing the Palm Sunday antiphon sung at the opening of the service:

Here's the whole Schola Mediolanensis singing the antiphon:

Here is the chant score:

In English:
Hosanna to the Son of David;
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
King of Israel:
Hosanna in the highest.

Here's Thomas Weelkes' polyphonic version, from sometime around 1600:

Orlando Gibbons wrote a setting, too - a lovely one, in English:

Here's Pietro Lorenzetti's beautiful "Christ's Entry into Jerusalem":

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Anglican Chant IV, from Bristol Cathedral

Now this is more like it. This is the Walmisley chant that I yammer on about on this blog and so adore - S7 in the 1982. (The Psalm is sung approximately 2.24 times on this video, for some strange reason. I guess they just wanted all their film of the buildings in the clip.)

Psalm 148

1 O praise the Lord of heaven *
praise him in the height.
2 Praise him, all ye angels of his *
praise him, all his host.
3 Praise him, sun and moon *
praise him, all ye stars and light.
4 Praise him, all ye heavens *
and ye waters that are above the heavens.
5 Let them praise the Name of the Lord *
for he spake the word, and they were made; he commanded, and they were created.
6 He hath made them fast for ever and ever *
he hath given them a law which shall not be broken.
7 Praise the Lord upon earth *
ye dragons, and all deeps;
8 Fire and hail, snow and vapours *
wind and storm, fulfilling his word;
9 Mountains and all hills *
fruitful trees and all cedars;
10 Beasts and all cattle *
worms and feathered fowls;
11 Kings of the earth and all people *
princes and all judges of the world;
12 Young men and maidens, old men and children, praise the Name of the Lord *
for his Name only is excellent, and his praise above heaven and earth.
13 He shall exalt the horn of his people; all his saints shall praise him *
even the children of Israel, even the people that serveth him.

The Lent 3 Tract: Ad te levavi oculos meos

This is the Tract for the Third Sunday in Lent, from Psalm 123 (one of the "Songs of Ascents").

Here's an mp3 from JoguesChant, and the chant score:

The King James Version is this:
1 Unto thee lift I up mine eyes, O thou that dwellest in the heavens.

2 Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God, until that he have mercy upon us.

3 Have mercy upon us, O LORD, have mercy upon us: for we are exceedingly filled with contempt.

4 Our soul is exceedingly filled with the scorning of those that are at ease, and with the contempt of the proud.

Here's something at YouTube labeled "Mogens Pedersøn: Ad te levavi oculos meos." Not sure who Mogens Pedersøn is, but it's a pretty thing:

That one includes another phrase at the end, I think taken from Verse 4 of Psalm 123, which is not in the Tract itself.

Ad te levavi oculos meos,
qui habitas in coelis.
Ecce sicut oculi servorum
in manibus dominorum suorum,
sicut oculi ancillae
in manibus dominae suae,
ita oculi nostri
ad Dominum Deum nostrum,
donec misereatur nostri.
Miserere nostri, Domine
quia multum repleti sumus despectione.

Palestrina wrote a setting of this, too, which you can see and listen to here.

Interesting, again, I think, that Lent and Advent sort of "speak to" one another in their music. The Introit at Advent 1 is another Psalmic Ad te levavi.

About Tracts, from Wikipedia:
The tract (Latin: tractus) is part of the proper of the Roman Mass, which is used instead of the Alleluia during Lenten or pre-Lenten seasons, and a few other penitential occasions, when the joyousness of an Alleluia is deemed inappropriate. Tracts are not, however, necessarily sorrowful.

The name apparently derives from either the drawn-out style of singing or the continuous structure without a refrain. There is evidence, however, that the earliest performances were sung responsorially, and it is probable that these were dropped at an early age.

In their final form, tracts are a series of psalm verses; rarely a complete psalm, but all of the verses from the same psalm. They are restricted to only two modes, the second and the eighth. The melodies follow centonization patterns more strongly than anywhere else in the repertoire; a typical tract is almost exclusively a succession of such formulas. The cadences are nearly always elaborate melismas. Tracts with multiple verses are some of the longest chants in the Liber Usualis. The Lutheran Church also makes use of a tract during Lent in their Divine Service.

Here are all the chant propers for the day, sung by the Sao Paulo Benedictines:
Hebdomada tertia quadragesimæ
Introitus: Ps. 24, 15.16 et 1-2 Oculi mei (3m02.3s - 2852 kb) score
Graduale: Ps. 9, 20. V. 4 Exsurge... non prævaleat (3m46.7s - 3546 kb) score
Tractus: Ps. 122, 1-3 Ad te levavi (1m45.2s - 1646 kb) score
Offertorium: Ps. 18, 9.11.12 Iustitiæ Domini (1m21.7s - 1278 kb) score
                 Quando legitur Evangelium de Samaritana:
                 Io. 4, 13.14 Qui biberit aquam (3m02.3s - 2852 kb)
                 Quando legitur aliud Evangelium:
                 Ps. 83, 4.5 Passer invenit (3m30.3s - 3288 kb) score

Here are posts on Chantblog for other propers of this day:

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

The Greatness of J.S. Bach (Again!)

We're singing the Crucifixus from the Bach B Minor Mass this year, twice (once on Good Friday), so naturally I was hunting around for a video of it so I could practice at home.

At the time, I found the most lovely set of videos from the piece, via the search for the Crucifixus alone. But now there seems to be a video of the whole Mass, as one 2-hour-long version. Really gorgeous.

Ensemble Orchestral de Paris.

Ruth Ziesak: soprano.
Joyce DiDonato: mezzosoprano.
Daniel Taylor: countertenor.
Paul Agnew: alto.
Dietrich Henschel: bass.

Conducted by John Nelson.


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