Thursday, November 29, 2012

For Vespers in Advent: Conditor Alme Siderum

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.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Händel: Messiah

The whole thing - 2 hours and 38 minutes' worth!  And with the wonderful Choir of King's College Cambridge, too.

From the YouTube page:
Messiah - Oratorio, HWV 56

The Choir of King's College, Cambridge
The Brandenburg Consort

Ailish Tynan (soprano)
Alice Coote (mezzo-soprano)
Allan Clayton (tenor)
Matthew Rose (bass)

Stephen Cleobury (conductor)

Here's an HTML libretto from Stanford University.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Salve Regina - Cristóbal de Morales

Here's another Salve Regina, this time by Cristóbal de Morales. Gorgeous. I'll try to find out what he's doing here with the chant alternatim; not sure if that's the Gregorian melody or not....

[EDIT:  Yes, the chant alternatim uses the Solemn Tone version of the Gregorian Salve Regina; see it on this page.]

Salve Regina, mater misericordiae, vita, dulcedo, et spes nostra salve. Ad te clamamus, exules filii Evae. Ad te suspiramus, gementes et flentes, in hac lacrimarum valle. Eia ergo, advocate nostra, illos tuos misericordes oculos, ad nos converte. Et Jesum, benedictum fructum ventris tui, nobis post hoc exsilium ostende. O Clemens, o pia, o dulcis virgo Maria.
Hail holy queen, mother of mercy, hail our life, our sweetness, and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears. Turn then most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us. And after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, o loving, o sweet Virgin Mary.

Salve Regina (Francesco Cavalli)

Before the Marian antiphon at Compline changes, this Sunday on Advent I, from Salve Regina to Alma Redemptoris Mater, I thought I'd post this lovely Salve Regina by Francesco Cavalli:

Salve Regina, mater misericordiae, vita, dulcedo, et spes nostra salve. Ad te clamamus, exules filii Evae. Ad te suspiramus, gementes et flentes, in hac lacrimarum valle. Eia ergo, advocate nostra, illos tuos misericordes oculos, ad nos converte. Et Jesum, benedictum fructum ventris tui, nobis post hoc exsilium ostende. O Clemens, o pia, o dulcis virgo Maria.
Hail holy queen, mother of mercy, hail our life, our sweetness, and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears. Turn then most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us. And after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, o loving, o sweet Virgin Mary.

More about Salve Regina here. More about Marian antiphons here.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Gradual for the Feast of Christ the King: Dominabitur A Mari Usque Ad Mare

GRADUAL • Dominabitur A Mari Usque Ad Mare from Corpus Christi Watershed on Vimeo.

The text comes from  Psalm 72, verses 8 & 11; the JoguesChant full score is below, and their English translation is:
He shall rule from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth. All the kings of the earth shall adore him; all nations shall serve him.

In the Extraordinary form - that is, the form that uses the chant propers from the time of Trent and thus doesn't include "Christ the King" as a feast day, since it was added to the Calendar in the early 20th Century - the Gradual is Liberasti Nos, for "the Last Sunday After Pentecost" (which is how Anglicans celebrate the feast, although the Prayer Book includes a Kingly collect for the day).

Here's an mp3 of Liberasti Nos from Renegoupil, and the score is below:

The text comes from Psalm 44, verses 7-8.  Here's the translation from Rene Goupil:
Thou hast delivered us, O Lord, from them that afflict us: and hast put them to shame that hate us. In God we will glory all the day: and to thy name we will give praise for ever.

And yet:  there is another Liberasti Nos, given as the Gradual for the "33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time" by the Benedictines of Brazil.  This is the last "after Pentecost" mass listed on that page, so it must be referring to the same proper - the words are the same, for sure - but it's definitely a different chant melody.

An interesting mystery....

Here's a list of all the chant propers for this day, from

Domini Nostri Iesu Christi
Universorum Regis
Introitus: Apoc. 5, 12 et 1, 6; Ps. 71 Dignus est Agnus (3m34.5s - 3355 kb) score
Graduale: Ps. 71, 8. V. 11 Dominabitur (2m33.3s - 2399 kb) score
Alleluia: Dan. 7, 14 Potestas eius (3m10.7s - 2983 kb) score
Offertorium: Ps. 2, 8 Postula a me (1m20.3s - 1259 kb) score
                   (anno A) Mt. 25, 40.34 Amen dico vobis: quod uni (not yet available)
                    Ps. 28, 10b.11b Sedebit Dominus (43.5s - 683 kb) score

 Other Chantblog posts for this day include:

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Mass X ('Alme Pater')

Here's a playlist of the plainsong of the Mass X Ordinary (without the Credo).

The Wikipedia entry for "Kyriale" notes that this setting is used "for Marian feasts and memorials"; Alme Pater - corresponding exactly to "Alma Mater" - means "loving father." (I think the more precise translation is "nourishing father"; Google translate offers "bountiful," "nourishing," "kind," "loving," and "fostering" as alternatives to "loving".)

You can find scores and music for all XVIII plainsong mass settings (along with some other standalone ordinary chants, and seven Credos), in Latin, at CCWatershed.  Get English versions - not all come with sound files - at MusicaSacra.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Bach: Mass in B minor (Proms 2012)

Here's a live recording of the whole Mass in B Minor, sung this past August at the BBC Proms. Stupendous.

Prom 26: Bach -- Mass in B minor
Johann Sebastian Bach - Mass in B minor

Joélle Harvey soprano
Carolyn Sampson soprano
Iestyn Davies counter-tenor
Ed Lyon tenor
Matthew Rose bass

Choir of the English Concert
The English Concert
Harry Bicket conductor

Royal Albert Hall
2 August 2012

More about the piece, from Wikipedia:

Structure of the work

The work consists of 27 sections.
I. Kyrie
  1. Kyrie eleison (1st). 5-part chorus (Soprano I, II, Alto, Tenor, Bass) in B minor, marked Adagio, Largo, common time.[22]
  2. Christe eleison. Duet (soprano I,II) in D major with obbligato violins, marked Andante, common time.
  3. Kyrie eleison (2nd). 4-part chorus (Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass) in F# minor, marked Allegro moderato, cut-common time ("alla breve").
Note the 9 (trinitarian, 3 x 3) movements with the largely symmetrical structure, and Domine Deus in the centre.
  1. Gloria in excelsis. 5-part chorus (Soprano I, II, Alto, Tenor, Bass) in D major, marked Vivace, 3/8 time. The music appears also as the opening chorus of Bach's cantata Gloria in excelsis Deo, BWV 191.
  2. Et in terra pax. 5-part chorus (Soprano I, II, Alto, Tenor, Bass) in D major, marked Andante, common time. Again the music also appears in the opening chorus of BWV 191.
  3. Laudamus te. Aria (soprano II) in A major with violin obbligato, marked Andante, common time.
  4. Gratias agimus tibi. 4-part chorus (Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass) in D major, marked Allegro moderato, cut-common time. The music is a reworking of the second movement of Bach's Ratswechsel cantata Wir danken dir, Gott, wir danken dir, BWV 29.
  5. Domine Deus. Duet (soprano I, tenor) in G major, marked Andante common time. The music appears as a duet in BWV 191.
  6. Qui tollis peccata mundi. 4-part chorus (Soprano II, Alto, Tenor, Bass) in B minor, marked Lento, 3/4 time. The chorus is a reworking of the first half of the opening movement of cantata Schauet doch und sehet, ob irgend ein Schmerz sei, BWV 46.
  7. Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris. Aria (alto) in B minor with oboe d'amore obbligato, marked Andante commodo, 6/8 time.
  8. Quoniam tu solus sanctus. Aria (bass) in D major with corno da caccia obbligato, marked Andante lento, 3/4 time.
  9. Cum Sancto Spiritu. 5-part chorus (Soprano I, II, Alto, Tenor, Bass) in D major, marked Vivace, 3/4 time. The music appears also in modified form as the closing chorus of BWV 191.
II. Symbolum Nicenum, or Credo
Note the 9 movements with the symmetrical structure, and the crucifixion at the centre.
  1. Credo in unum Deum. 5-part chorus (Soprano I, II, Alto, Tenor, Bass) in A mixolydian, marked Moderato, cut-common time.
  2. Patrem omnipotentem. 4-part chorus (Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass) in D major, marked Allegro, cut-common time. The music is a reworking of the opening chorus of cantata Gott, wie dein Name, so ist auch dein Ruhm, BWV 171.
  3. Et in unum Dominum. Duet (soprano I, alto) in G major, marked Andante, common time.
  4. Et incarnatus est. 5-part chorus (Soprano I, II, Alto, Tenor, Bass) in B minor, marked Andante maestoso, 3/4 time.
  5. Crucifixus. 4-part chorus (Soprano II, Alto, Tenor, Bass) in E minor, marked Grave, 3/2 time. The music is a reworking of the first section of the first chorus of the cantata Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen, BWV 12.
  6. Et resurrexit. 5-part chorus (Soprano I, II, Alto, Tenor, Bass) in D major, marked Allegro, 3/4 time.
  7. Et in Spiritum Sanctum. Aria (Bass) in A major with oboi d'amore obbligati, marked Andantino, 6/8 time.
  8. Confiteor. 5-part chorus (Soprano I, II, Alto, Tenor, Bass) in F# minor, marked Moderato, Adagio, cut-common time.
  9. Et expecto. 5-part chorus (Soprano I, II, Alto, Tenor, Bass) in D major, marked Vivace ed allegro, cut-common time. The music is a reworking of the second movement of Bach's Ratswechsel cantata Gott, man lobet dich in der Stille, BWV 120 on the words Jauchzet, ihr erfreute Stimmen.
III. Sanctus
  1. Sanctus. 6-part chorus (Soprano I, II, Alto I, II, Tenor, Bass) in D major, marked Largo, common time; Vivace, 3/8 time. Derived from an earlier, now lost, 3 soprano, 1 alto work written in 1724.
IV. Osanna, Benedictus, and Agnus Dei
  1. Osanna. double chorus (both four parts) in D major, marked Allegro, 3/8 time. A reworking of the opening chorus of BWV 215 — although they may share a common lost model.
  2. Benedictus. Aria for tenor with flute obbligato (some later editions use violin obbligato) in B minor, marked Andante, 3/4 time.
  3. Osanna (da capo). as above.
  4. Agnus Dei. Aria for alto in G minor with violin obbligato, marked Adagio, common time. Derives from an aria of a lost wedding cantata (1725) which Bach also re-used as the alto aria of his Ascension Oratorio Lobet Gott in seinen Reichen, BWV 11 but as the two different surviving versions are markedly different, it is thought they share a common model.
  5. Dona nobis pacem. 4-part chorus in D major, marked Moderato, cut-common time. The music is almost identical to "Gratias agimus tibi" from the Gloria.

And I've always liked this article, "Bach's Mass in B Minor as Musical Icon."

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Sarum Psalm Tones in Square Notes

I captured these images from "The Canticles at Evensong, Together with the Office Responses and a Table of Psalm-Tones", by Canon Winfred Douglas.  There are some differences between the Sarum tones and the Psalm tones from the Liber Usualis - but I'm not sure what they are yet, exactly.

I wanted to have them posted here, though, and then I can go through them and look.  So, here are those images:

On a related note:  I recently picked up a copy of "The Monastic Diurnal Revised" - the book used currently by the Community of St. Mary, and the original of which Canon Douglas put together for the Community.

Gloria: Mozart's Coronation Mass in C major - the Salisbury Cathedral Choir

A short video of a lovely song sung by a great choir - but watch it especially for a fantastic look at the inside of the Cathedral!

HT Saturday Chorale.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Anglican Chant XXII: Psalm 145 (Buck) - St. Andrew's Schola Cantorum

A lovely tune, sung well by this choir from Pittsburgh.

Here are the Coverdale words:
Psalm 145. Exaltabo te, Deus
I WILL magnify thee, O God, my King : and I will praise thy Name for ever and ever.
2. Every day will I give thanks unto thee : and praise thy Name for ever and ever.
3. Great is the Lord, and marvellous worthy to be praised : there is no end of his greatness.
4. One generation shall praise thy works unto another : and declare thy power.
5. As for me, I will be talking of thy worship : thy glory, thy praise, and wondrous works;
6. So that men shall speak of the might of thy marvellous acts : and I will also tell of thy greatness.
7. The memorial of thine abundant kindness shall be shewed : and men shall sing of thy righteousness.
8. The Lord is gracious and merciful : long-suffering and of great goodness.
9. The Lord is loving unto every man : and his mercy is over all his works.
10. All thy works praise thee, O Lord : and thy saints give thanks unto thee.
11. They shew the glory of thy kingdom : and talk of thy power;
12. That thy power, thy glory, and mightiness of thy kingdom : might be known unto men.
13. Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom : and thy dominion endureth throughout all ages.
14. The Lord upholdeth all such as fall : and lifteth up all those that are down.
15. The eyes of all wait upon thee, O Lord : and thou givest them their meat in due season.
16. Thou openest thine hand : and fillest all things living with plenteousness.
17. The Lord is righteous in all his ways : and holy in all his works.
18. The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him : yea, all such as call upon him faithfully.
19. He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him : he also will hear their cry, and will help them.
20. The Lord preserveth all them that love him : but scattereth abroad all the ungodly.
21. My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord : and let all flesh give thanks unto his holy Name for ever and ever.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Stanford Magnificat in G - the Salisbury Cathedral Choir

I really like this choir - and love that treble solo!

From the YouTube page:
Salisbury Cathedral Choir sing Charles Villiers Stanford's wonderful Magnificat in G. Apologies for the start and for the proud Mum of the soloist during the Gloria at the end. The clip was taken from a documentary.
And here's the wonderful text of the Evening Canticle:
My soul doth magnify the Lord : and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
For he hath regarded : the lowliness of his handmaiden.
For behold, from henceforth : all generations shall call me blessed.
For he that is mighty hath magnified me : and holy is his Name.
And his mercy is on them that fear him : throughout all generations.
He hath showed strength with his arm : he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He hath put down the mighty from their seat : and hath exalted the humble and meek.
He hath filled the hungry with good things : and the rich he hath sent empty away.
He remembering his mercy hath holpen his servant Israel : as he promised to our forefathers, Abraham and his seed, for ever.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost
As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be
World without end

Friday, November 16, 2012

Anglican Chant XXI: Psalm 37: 1-20 - the Rivelin Singers at Wells Cathedral

Here's the Coverdale text:
Psalm 37. Noli aemulari

FRET not thyself because of the ungodly : neither be thou envious against the evil-doers.
2. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass : and be withered even as the green herb.
3. Put thou thy trust in the Lord, and be doing good : dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
4. Delight thou in the Lord : and he shall give thee thy heart's desire.
5. Commit thy way unto the Lord, and put thy trust in him : and he shall bring it to pass.
6. He shall make thy righteousness as clear as the light : and thy just dealing as the noon-day.
7. Hold thee still in the Lord, and abide patiently upon him : but grieve not thyself at him whose way doth prosper, against the man that doeth after evil counsels.
8. Leave off from wrath, and let go displeasure : fret not thyself, else shalt thou be moved to do evil.
9. Wicked doers shall be rooted out : and they that patiently abide the Lord, those shall inherit the land.
10. Yet a little while, and the ungodly shall be clean gone : thou shalt look after his place, and he shall be away.
11. But the meek-spirited shall possess the earth : and shall be refreshed in the multitude of peace.
12. The ungodly seeketh counsel against the just : and gnasheth upon him with his teeth.
13. The Lord shall laugh him to scorn : for he hath seen that his day is coming.
14. The ungodly have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow : to cast down the poor and needy, and to slay such as are of a right conversation.
15. Their sword shall go through their own heart : and their bow shall be broken.
16. A small thing that the righteous hath : is better than great riches of the ungodly.
17. For the arms of the ungodly shall be broken : and the Lord upholdeth the righteous.
18. The Lord knoweth the days of the godly : and their inheritance shall endure for ever.
19. They shall not be confounded in the perilous time : and in the days of dearth they shall have enough.
20. As for the ungodly, they shall perish; and the enemies of the Lord shall consume as the fat of lambs : yea, even as the smoke shall they consume away.

There's more about this on the YouTube page.  (And, yay!  Composers included!)  It says you can download a PDF of the setting at the link below, but sadly the link seems to be broken.
The first twenty verses of Psalm 37, sung to two beautiful Anglican chants by the Rivelin Singers during their residency in Wells Cathedral, UK, in August 2012. (This is a live recording!)

The chants are by Jonathan P Eyre (assistant director of music, Bradford Cathedral - also playing the organ in this recording) and Graham Barber (professor of performance studies, University of Leeds).

The psalms were pointed and set, and the choir is conducted, by Fraser Wilson.

Visit Soundcloud ( for related noises...
Download this setting in PDF format from

Monday, November 05, 2012

Cantata BWV 140: Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme

In time for the time before Advent, here's BWV 140 - the whole Cantata - (along with the entire score):

You can also listen via this .ram file, here.  Or, if you can't play that .ram file - old technology, I know - here are .ogg files from the Wikipedia page about this Cantata; the piece is performed by the MIT Chamber Chorus.  That should take care of everybody!

Follow along with the German words and the English translation (from below.
1 Chorus [S, A, T, B]
   Corno col Soprano, Oboe I/II, Taille, Violino I/II, Violino piccolo, Viola, Continuo
Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme
Der Wächter sehr hoch auf der Zinne,
Wach auf, du Stadt Jerusalem!
Mitternacht heißt diese Stunde;
Sie rufen uns mit hellem Munde:
Wo seid ihr klugen Jungfrauen?
Wohl auf, der Bräutgam kömmt;
Steht auf, die Lampen nehmt!
Macht euch bereit
Zu der Hochzeit,
Ihr müsset ihm entgegen gehn!

Wake up, the voice calls us
of the watchmen high up on the battlements,
wake up, you city of Jerusalem!
This hour is called midnight;
they call us with a clear voice:
where are you, wise virgins ?
Get up, the bridegroom comes;
Stand up, take your lamps! Hallelujah!
Make yourselves ready
for the wedding,
you must go to meet him!
2  Recitative [Tenor]
Er kommt, er kommt,
Der Bräutgam kommt!
Ihr Töchter Zions, kommt heraus,
Sein Ausgang eilet aus der Höhe
In euer Mutter Haus.
Der Bräutgam kommt, der einem Rehe
Und jungen Hirsche gleich
Auf denen Hügeln springt
Und euch das Mahl der Hochzeit bringt.
Wacht auf, ermuntert euch!
Den Bräutgam zu empfangen!
Dort, sehet, kommt er hergegangen.

He comes, he comes,
the bridegroom comes!
You daughters of Zion, come out,
he hastens his departure from on high
to your mother's house.
The bridegroom comes, who like a roedeer
and a young stag
leaps on the hills
and brings to you the wedding feast.
Wake up, rouse yourselves
to welcome the bridegroom!
There, see, he comes this way.

3  Aria [(Duet) Soprano (Soul), Bass (Jesus)]    Violino piccolo, Continuo
Wenn kömmst du, mein Heil?

When are you coming, my salvation?

Ich komme, dein Teil

I come, your portion.

Ich warte mit brennendem Öle

I wait with burning oil.

Eröffne den Saal

Open the hall

Ich öffne den Saal

I open the hall

Zum himmlischen Mahl

to the heavenly feast.

Komm, Jesu!

Come, Jesus!

Komm, liebliche Seele!

Come, lovely soul!

4 Chorale [Tenor]
Violino I/II e Viola all' unisono, Continuo
Zion hört die Wächter singen,
Das Herz tut ihr vor Freuden springen,
Sie wachet und steht eilend auf.
Ihr Freund kommt vom Himmel prächtig,
Von Gnaden stark, von Wahrheit mächtig,
Ihr Licht wird hell, ihr Stern geht auf.
Nun komm, du werte Kron,
Herr Jesu, Gottes Sohn!
Wir folgen all
Zum Freudensaal
Und halten mit das Abendmahl.

Zion hears the watchmen sing,
her heart leaps for joy,
she awakes and gets up in haste.
Her friend comes from heaven in his splendour,
strong in mercy, mighty in truth.
Her light becomes bright, her star rises.
Now come, you worthy crown,
Lord Jesus, God's son!
We all follow
to the hall of joy
and share in the Lord's supper.

5 Recitative [Bass]
Violino I/II, Violino piccolo, Viola, Continuo
So geh herein zu mir,
Du mir erwählte Braut!
Ich habe mich mit dir
Von Ewigkeit vertraut.
Dich will ich auf mein Herz,
Auf meinem Arm gleich wie ein Siegel setzen
Und dein betrübtes Aug ergötzen.
Vergiß, o Seele, nun
Die Angst, den Schmerz,
Den du erdulden müssen;
Auf meiner Linken sollst du ruhn,
Und meine Rechte soll dich küssen.

So come inside to me
you bride that I have chosen for myself,
I have betrothed mysef to you
from eternity to eternity.
It is you that I want to set in my heart,
on my arm like a seal
and to delight your grieved eyes.
Forget now, o soul,
the anguish, the sorrow
that you had to suffer
On my left hand you should rest
and my right hand should kiss you.

6  Aria (Duet) [Soprano (Soul), Bass (Jesus)]
    Oboe solo, Continuo
Mein Freund ist mein,

My friend is mine,

Und ich bin sein,

and I am yours,

Die Liebe soll nichts scheiden.

Nothing shall divide our love.

Ich will mit dir in Himmels Rosen weiden,

I want to graze on heaven's roses with you,

du sollst mit mir in Himmels Rosen weiden,

You will graze on heaven's roses with me,

Da Freude die Fülle, da Wonne wird sein.

There will be fullness of joy, there will be delight.

7  Chorale [S, A, T, B]
    Corno e Oboe I e Violino piccolo in octava e Violino I col Soprano, Oboe II e Violino II 
    coll'Alto, Taille e Viola col Tenore, Continuo
Gloria sei dir gesungen
Mit Menschen- und englischen Zungen,
Mit Harfen und mit Zimbeln schon.
Von zwölf Perlen sind die Pforten,
An deiner Stadt sind wir Konsorten
Der Engel hoch um deinen Thron.
Kein Aug hat je gespürt,
Kein Ohr hat je gehört
Solche Freude.
Des sind wir froh,
Io, io!
Ewig in dulci jubilo.

May gloria be sung to you
with the tongues of men and angels,
with harps and with cymbals.
The gates are made of twelve pearls,
in your city we are companions
of the angels on high around your throne.
No eye has ever perceived,
no ear has ever heard
such joy.
Therefore we are joyful,
hurray, hurray!
for ever in sweet rejoicing.

English Translation by Francis Browne (October 2002)
Contributed by Francis Browne (October 2002)

While I do love just about every movement in this Cantata, I must admit I'm a complete sucker for Movement 6, the Bass-Soprano God-and-the-soul-serenading-one-another bit.   Bach does this in at least one other place I know of - the Domine Deus section of the Gloria from the B Minor Mass (although in that one, it's Tenor-Treble God the Father and God the Son crooning together).  Here's a short video of that:  it's fantastic!

Here's the full Wikipedia entry for BWV 140
Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, BWV 140, also known as Sleepers Wake, is a church cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach. He composed the chorale cantata in Leipzig for the 27th Sunday after Trinity and first performed it on 25 November 1731. It is based on the hymn Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme (1599) byPhilipp Nicolai. Movement 4 of the cantata (in English, "Zion hears the watchmen's voices") corresponds to the organ piece BWV 645, the first of the Schübler Chorales.

History and text

The chorale cantata is based on the Lutheran chorale, Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme of Philipp Nicolai.[1]This Lutheran hymn remains popular today both in its original German and in a variety of English translations. It is based on the parable of the ten virgins in Matthew 25:1–13, the prescribed reading for the Sunday in the Lutheran lectionary [2] Because this Sunday only occurred when Easter was very early, the cantata was rarely performed.[3]
In the modern three-year Revised Common Lectionary, however, the reading is scheduled for Proper 27, or the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, in the first year of the three-year cycle of lessons.[4] Thus, the hymn and the cantata are commonly performed in churches on that Sunday. The text and its eschatological themes are also commonly associated with the early Sundays of the season of Advent, and so the cantata is also commonly performed during that season.

Scoring and structure

The cantata is scored for horn, 2 oboes, taille (an instrument similar to the oboe da caccia, today often replaced by an English horn), violino piccolo, violin, viola, basso continuo, and choir with soprano, tenor, andbass soloists.
  • I. Chorus: Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme (Wake up, the voice calls to us)
  • II. Recitative: Er kommt (He comes)
  • III. Aria (duet): Wann kommst du, mein Heil? (When will you come, my salvation?)
  • IV. Chorale: Zion hört die Wächter singen (Zion hears the watchmen singing)
  • V. Recitative: So geh herein zu mir (So come in with me)
  • VI. Aria (duet): Mein Freund ist mein! (My friend is mine!)
  • VII. Chorale: Gloria sei dir gesungen (May Gloria be sung to you)


The first movement is a chorale fantasia based on the first verse of the chorale, which is a common feature of Bach's chorale cantatas.[5] The second movement is a recitative for tenor that precedes the third movement, a duet for soprano and bass with obbligato violin. In the duet, the soprano represents the soul and the bass represents Jesus as the Vox Christi (voice of Jesus). The fourth movement, based on the second verse of the chorale, is written in the style of a chorale prelude, with the phrases of the chorale, sung as a cantus firmus by the tenors (or by the tenor soloist), entering intermittently against a famously lyrical melody played in unison by the violins (without the violino piccolo) and the viola, accompanied by the basso continuo. Bach later transcribed this movement for organ (BWV 645), and it was subsequently published along with five other transcriptions Bach made of his cantata movements as the Schübler Chorales. The fifth movement is a recitative for bass, preceding the sixth movement, which is another duet for soprano and bass with obbligato oboe. This duet, like the third movement, is a love duet between the soprano soul and the bass Jesus.[6] The final movement is a four-part setting of the final verse of the chorale.

(The wonderful artwork above is a detail from Die klugen und törichten Jungfrauen (The Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins), by Wilhelm von Schadow (1788–1862).)

Thursday, November 01, 2012

For All Souls' Day: Messe de Requiem, Gabriel Fauré

From the YouTube page, this is:
The first movement from Gabriel Fauré's Messe de Requiem. Performed at the Solemn Mass on All Souls' Day, 2nd November 2011. The choir of the Church of Saint Mary the Virgin, New York City, James Kennerley, Organist and Music Director. This version is an excellent arrangement by David Hill for organ, violin, 'cello and harp accompaniment. It is published by Novello.

All the videos are here, on James Kennerly's YouTube page; here they are, too, each linked below:
  1. Introït
  2. Offertoire
  3. Sanctus
  4. Pie Jesu
  5. Agnus Dei & Lux Aeterna
  6. Libera me
  7. In Paradisum
Here's more about the Fauré Requiem.  The movements are in the following order (links below to Wikipedia articles about each item):

Here's more about Requiem masses on this blog.  And here's the complete All Souls Days Office.

All Saints' Day: Iusti in perpetuum vivent

This is another of John Sheppard's All Saints' Day responsories.

From the YouTube page:
Iusti in perpetuum vivent ("The righteous will live for ever,") is another Vespers respond for the Feast of All Saints composed by the Tudor Era English composer John Sheppard (c1515-1558) it is a respond at Second Vespers on All Saints' Day.

Text - Latin:
Iusti in perpetuum vivent
et apud Dominum est merces eorum
et cogitatio eorum apud altissimum.
Ideo accipient regnum decoris
et diadema speciei de manu Domini.
Gloria, laus et honor, decus potestas et iubilatio
Patri ac Nato et Spiritui Sancto.

Respond at Second Vespers on All Saints' Day

English Translation:

The righteous will live for ever,
and their reward is with the Lord,
and their thoughts are on the most high.
Therefore will they receive the glory of the kingdom
and a shining crown from the hand of the Lord.
Glory, praise and honour, virtue, power and rejoicing

The text is from Wisdom 5:

15 But the righteous live for ever,
and their reward is with the Lord;
the Most High takes care of them.

16 Therefore they will receive a glorious crown
and a beautiful diadem from the hand of the Lord,
because with his right hand he will cover them,
and with his arm he will shield them.


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