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.

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