Wednesday, May 13, 2015

"Vespers for the Feast of the Ascension: Hymnus: Salutis humanae Sator"

Claudio Monteverdi evidently wrote a setting of the service of Vespers for the Feast of the Ascension; this is the hymn from that service. As you can see, it's written in alternatim style, the chant alternating with the composed polyphony.

CPDL offers these Latin words and this English translation for this "Hymn for 2nd Vespers of the Ascension."   (Sarum, BTW, used a different hymn for Ascension Vespers:  Eterne Rex atissime.)

1. Salutis humanae Sator,
Jesu, voluptas cordium,
Orbis redempti Conditor,
Et casta lux amantium:

2. Que victus es clementia,
Ut nostra ferres crimina?
Mortem subires innocens,
A morte nos ut tolleres?

3. Perrumpis infernum chaos;
Vinctis catenas detrahis;
Victor triumpho nobili
Ad dexteram Patris sedes.

4. Te cogat indulgentia,
Ut damna nostra sarcias
Tuique vultus compotes
Dites beato lumine.

5. Tu dux ad astra, et semita,
Sis meta nostris cordibus,
Sis lacrymarum gaudium,
Sis dulce vitae praemium.

1. Hail, Thou who man's Redeemer art,
Jesu, the joy of every heart;
Great Maker of the world's wide frame,
And purest love's delight and flame:

2. What nameless mercy Thee o'ercame,
To bear out load of sin and shame?
For guiltless, Thou Thy life didst give,
That sinful erring man might live.

3. The realms of woe are forced by Thee,
Its captives from their chains set free;
And Thou, amid Thy ransomed train,
At God's right hand dost victor reign.

4. Let mercy sweet with Thee prevail,
To cure the wounds we now bewail;
Oh, bless us with Thy holy sight,
And fill us with eternal light.

5. Our guide, our way to heavenly rest,
Be Thou the aim of every breast;
Be Thou the soother of our tears,
Our sweet reward above the spheres.

Somebody has uploaded a video for every movement of this piece to YouTube; here, for instance, is "Viri Galilaei," the first Psalm antiphon (which begins with the same musical motif used for the Introit of the same name at the Ascension mass):

Here's the entire playlist, which runs the service in order:

You can follow along with the service in Latin and in English at Divinum Officium; enter 5-14-2015 for the date, and click Vesperae.

Here, from, are all the Mass Propers for Ascension, sung by the Sao Paulo Benedictines:

In Ascensione Domini
Introitus: Act. 1, 11; Ps. 46 Viri Galilæi (2m48.4s - 2635 kb) score here
Alleluia: Ps. 46, 6 Ascendit Deus (1m50.2s - 1725 kb) score here
Alleluia: Ps. 67, 18.19 Dominus in Sina (2m33.9s - 2409 kb) score here
Offertorium: Ps. 46, 6 Ascendit Deus (1m33.8s - 1469 kb MONO due to problems with my recording setscore here
(anno A)Mt. 28, 18.19 Data est mihi (1m21.9s - 1283 kb) score here
(anno B)Mc. 16, 17.18 Signa (1m05.5s - 1027 kb)
(anno C)  Ps. 67, 33.34 Psallite Domino (59.0s - 925 kb MONO due to problems with my recording setscore here

You can read other posts about the day's propers on Chantblog as well:

And don't forget to read Full Homely Divinity's article on Ascension.

The art used on the videos is not, actually, related to the Ascension;  it's a Resurrection image, from Grunewald's Isenheim Altarpiece.  

Here's an Ascension image, though; it's "a decorated initial 'C'" that "contains the Ascension of Christ," from the Drogo Sacramentary, c. 850:

Blessed Ascension!


Anonymous said...

By coincidence, this falls almost exactly at the same time as Monteverdi's birthday.

bls said...

Thanks for the comment. I'm finding, in several places, the May 15 date listed as the day of his Baptism; in others, it's listed as his birthday.

The fact that it may be his baptismal date is pretty interesting, in fact; if true, it implies that his Baptism may have been considered more important than his actual birthday!


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