Friday, October 31, 2014

The Gradual for the Solemnity of All Saints: Timete Dominum omnes sancti ejus ("Fear the Lord, all ye his saints")

That's the first piece on this video, which I believe is sung by the Chœur Grégorien de Paris. (The video itself seems to be a visual tour of the St. Trophime Cathedral in Arles, France; the chant seems unrelated, to me, possibly used as background music simply for its beauty.  Well, enjoy it!  There are several different pieces on this video - and the church is indeed splendid.):

Here's an mp3 of Timete Dominum from ChristusRex,org,  sung by the Benedictines in São Paulo, Brazil.  And somebody's put the same audio file into a video:

The text, taken from Psalm (33/)34, vv. (10-11/)9-10, from CPDL:
Timete Dominum omnes sancti ejus: quoniam nihil deest timentibus eum.
Inquirentes autem Dominum, non deficient omni bono. Alleluia.

Fear the Lord, all ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him:
They that seek the Lord shall not be deprived of any good. Alleluia.

And here is the full chant score:

This text has been set by a number of composers.  Here's one setting by Ascanio Trombetti (1544-1590):

Very nice!   The YouTube page has more about the performance:
Live performance at De Duif, Amsterdam - December 21, 2010
Project "Sacrae Symphoniae" - Vocal and instrumental Renaissance music from Venice

Harma Everts & Klaartje van Veldhoven, sopranos
Santiago Cumplido del Castillo, countertenor
Bram Verheijen & Esteban Manzano, tenors
Eiji Miura, bass

The Royal Wind Music directed by Paul Leenhouts

Petri Arvo, Alana Blackburn, Stephanie Brandt, Ruth Dyson, Eva Gemeinhardt, Arwieke Glas, Hester Groenleer, Karin Hageneder, Kyuri Kim, Marco Paulo Alves Magalhâes, María Martínez Ayerza, Filipa Margarida da Silveira Pereira, Anna Stegmann: renaissance recorders

The All Saints' Day Collect is this one:
Almighty God, you have knit together your elect in one communion and fellowship in the mystical body of your Son Christ our Lord: Give us grace so to follow your blessed saints in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to those ineffable joys that you have prepared for those who truly love you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.
Hatchett's Commentary on the American Prayer Book says this about the collect:
This collect was composed for the 1549 Book.  The 1662 revision substituted "blessed" for "holy," and "in all virtuous and godly living" for "in all virtues, and godly living."  The present revision replaces "unspeakable" with "ineffable" since "unspeakable" has so changed and negative a connotation in modern English.  The collect expresses in an admirable way Saint Paul's conception of the church as the Body of Christ.

Here are mp3 files for all the propers on the day, from
Die 1 novembris
Omnium Sanctorum
Introitus: Ps. 32 Gaudeamus... Sanctorum omnium (3m09.8s - 2969 kb) score
Graduale: Ps. 33, 10. V. 11b Timete Dominum (2m33.1s - 2395 kb) score
Alleluia: Mt. 11, 28 Venite ad me (3m34.5s - 3355 kb) score
Offertorium: Sap. 3, 1.2.3 Iustorum animæ (2m25.8s - 2281 kb) score
Communio: Mt. 5, 8.9.10 Beati mundo corde (1m29.8s - 1408 kb) score

And here are posts about these on Chantblog:

Here's an interesting icon appropriate for this day.  It's described this way:  "Icon of Chetyi-Minei (calendar of saints).  In the very center is the Resurrection of Christ surrounded by scenes from Holy Week and the feasts of the Paschal cycle. Around them are twelve groupings of saints: one for each month of the calendar year. In the border are icons of the Theotokos (Mother of God), each of which has a feast day during the liturgical year."

Friday, October 24, 2014

New York Polyphony: Nesciens mater (Byttering)

NYP offered this beautiful video in its socmed feeds today:

CPDL says the text is taken from a Christmastide antiphon:
Nesciens mater virgo virum
peperit sine dolore
salvatorem saeculorum.
Ipsum regem angelorum
sola virgo lactabat,
ubere de caelo pleno.

(some sources have ubera de coelo plena)
Knowing no man, the Virgin mother
bore, without pain,
the Saviour of the world.
Him, the king of angels,
only the Virgin suckled,
breasts filled by heaven. 

This is Byttering's Wikipedia entry:
Byttering (also Bytering, Bytteryng, or Biteryng; possible first name Thomas) (fl. c. 1400 – 1420) was an English composer during the transitional period from Medieval to Renaissance styles. Five of his compositions have survived, all of them in the Old Hall Manuscript.

A possible identification of Byttering with a Thomas Byteryng has been made. Byteryng was a canon at Hastings Castle between 1405 and 1408, and was a rector somewhere in London in 1414. There is no information on the composer in the Old Hall Manuscript other than that his surname is attached to several pieces. Those pieces stand out from many of the works in the manuscript by their relatively advanced stylistic traits.

Byttering's music includes three mass sections – two Glorias and a Credo – a motet based on Nesciens Mater, and a substantial three-voice, isorhythmic wedding motet, En Katerine solennia/Virginalis contio/Sponsus amat sponsum, his best-known work, which was almost certainly written for the wedding, on 2 June 1420, of King Henry V and Catherine of Valois.

The four-voice Gloria, No. 18 in the Old Hall MS, is one of the most complex canons of the early 15th century, and represents what was probably the extreme of stylistic differentiation between English and continental practice. Canons in continental sources are extremely rare, but there are seven in the Old Hall MS, and Byttering's is the only one with the standard arrangement of the same tune in all four voices.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

"Hail true body, born of Mary": Plainsong from the Guildford Cathedral Choir

I just became aware of "Archives of Sound," a YouTube channel apparently completely dedicated to videos (which are actually audio files along with still images) from the "Guildford Cathedral Choir (1961-1974) during Barry Rose's tenure as Organist & Master of the Choristers."    I'm quite sure I'll be posting from this collection fairly often; there's lots of Anglican Chant.

This is a lovely recording of an English-language version of the Gregorian chant Eucharistic hymn Ave Verum Corpus, recorded at Guildford Cathedral in May of 1967:

These are the words they are using here; I haven't been able to determine their provenance:

Hail, true body, born of Mary,
by a wondrous virgin birth.
Thou who on the cross wast offered
to redeem the sons of earth;

Thou whose side became a fountain
pouring forth thy precious blood,
give us now; and at our dying,
thine own self to be our food.

O sweetest Jesu,
O gracious Jesu,
O Jesu, blessed Mary's Son.

Wikipedia has the Latin words, along with a more literal English translation:
Ave verum corpus, natum
de Maria Virgine,
vere passum, immolatum
in cruce pro homine
cuius latus perforatum
fluxit aqua et sanguine:
esto nobis praegustatum
in mortis examine.
O Iesu dulcis, O Iesu pie,
O Iesu, fili Mariae.
Miserere mei. Amen.
Hail, true Body, born
of the Virgin Mary,
who having truly suffered, was sacrificed
on the cross for mankind,
whose pierced side
flowed with water and blood:
May it be for us a foretaste [of the Heavenly banquet]
in the trial of death.
O sweet Jesus, O pious Jesus,
O Jesus, son of Mary,
have mercy on me. Amen.

Here's the score of the chant in Latin from the Liber Usualis:

More about this hymn, from the same Wikipedia link above:
"Ave verum corpus" is a short Eucharistic hymn that has been set to music by various composers. It dates from the 14th century and has been attributed to Pope Innocent VI.[1]

During the Middle Ages it was sung at the elevation of the host during the consecration. It was also used frequently during Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.

The hymn's title means "Hail, true body", and is based on a poem deriving from a 14th-century manuscript from the Abbey of Reichenau, Lake Constance.[citation needed] The poem is a meditation on the Catholic belief in Jesus's Real Presence in the sacrament of the Eucharist, and ties it to the Catholic conception of the redemptive meaning of suffering in the life of all believers.

Barry Rose has written choral music, too; I've sung some of his Responses, for Mattins or Evensong (I can't quite recall at the moment).

I had actually never heard the Gregorian version of this song until today - but I have heard many composed versions.  Most famous, perhaps, is the Mozart version, here sung by King's College, Cambridge:

William Byrd also set this hymn:

Another well-known polyphonic setting is Edward Elgar's:

This is one I've just heard for the first time; interestingly, it seems only to be available on Chinese video sites!  And so, I'm not sure who the composer is, but the singers are the Salisbury Cathedral Choristers:

Clearly a more contemporary setting; if I learn more about it, I'll come back to post again.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...