Saturday, June 24, 2017

St. John the Baptist, June 24: De Ventre Matris Meae ("From my mother’s womb")

De Ventre Matris Meae is the Introit for the Feast of St. John Baptist, June 24. It's sung here by Schola Sanctae Sunnivae & Hartkeriana.

The text comes from Isaiah 49; here's the Latin, along with an English translation from Divinum Officium:
De ventre matris meæ vocávit me Dóminus in nómine meo: et pósuit os meum ut gládium acútum: sub teguménto manus suæ protéxit me, et pósuit me quasi sagíttam eléctam

From my mother’s womb the Lord called me by me name, and made of me a sharp-edged sword; He concealed me in the shadow of His arm, and made me a polished arrow.

Here's the chant score:

Here are the actual verses from Isaiah 49:
1 Give ear, ye islands, and hearken, ye people from afar. The Lord hath called me from the womb, from the bowels of my mother he hath been mindful of my name.

2 And he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword: in the shadow of his hand he hath protected me, and hath made me as a chosen arrow: in his quiver he hath hidden me.

In the Cantus database this chant is only listed as a Matins Responsory; not sure why that would be.  Here's an image of that Responsory from the Antiphonarium Massiliense; the large red "D" is where the chant begins:

Interesting, though:  I don't find this listed as a Matins Responsory in Divinum Officium.   So, not quite sure what's going on there.

Here's the famous Deesis Mosaic from Hagia Sophia; that's John the Baptist on the right:

This is from Wikipedia's Deesis entry:

In Byzantine art, and later Eastern Orthodox art generally, the Deësis or Deisis (Greek: δέησις, "prayer" or "supplication"), is a traditional iconic representation of Christ in Majesty or Christ Pantocrator: enthroned, carrying a book, and flanked by the Virgin Mary and St. John the Baptist, and sometimes other saints and angels. Mary and John, and any other figures, are shown facing towards Christ with their hands raised in supplication on behalf of humanity.
In early examples, it was often placed on the templon beam in Orthodox churches or above doors, though it also appears on icons and devotional ivories.

Friday, June 02, 2017

The Pentecost Offertory: Confirma Hoc Deus ("Stablish the thing, O God")

This version is sung by Cantarte Regensburg:

The text is taken from Psalm 67:29b-30 (Vulgate):
Confirma hoc Deus, quod operatus es in nobis;
A templo tuo quod est in Jerusalem, tibi offerent Reges munera.

Stablish the thing, O God, that thou hast wrought in us,
For thy temple's sake at Jerusalem: so shall kings bring presents unto thee.

Here's the chant score:

William Byrd, among others, set this text. Here's his setting, sung by the Gloriana Ensemble:

The same text (although without the final clause) is used for the Antiphon sung at Confirmation:
"When all are confirmed, the Bishop washes his hands while the following is sung:" - Liber Usualis, 1961; Administration of Confirmation.

Here's a page from the De la Salle Hymnal; this looks to me like a congregational setting of the same antiphon:

And don't forget to read Full Homely Divinity's Pentecost entry!

Here are links to all the propers on the day, from the Benedictines of Brazil:
Dominica Pentecostes ad Missam in die
Introitus:  Spiritus Domini (cum Gloria Patri)(5m07.0s - 4798 kb)  view score
Alleluia: Emitte Spiritum tuum (1m55.4s - 1806 kb)  view score
Alleluia: Veni, Sancte Spiritus (2m02.9s - 1922 kb)  view score
Sequentia: Veni, Sancte Spiritus (2m29.7s - 2341 kb)  view score
Offertorium: Confirma hoc, Deus (1m35.3s - 1491 kb)  view score
Communio: Factus est repente (1m16.3s - 1195 kb)  view score
Ad dimittendum populum: Ite missa est (28.7s - 451 kb)  view score

And here are Chantblog posts on the Pentecost propers:

Here's a piece of Pentecost art, from the well-known Book of Hours Les Très Riches Heures du duc de Berry, Folio 79r - Pentecost the Musée Condé, Chantilly.  

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Holy Saturday: Recessit Pastor Noster ("Our Shepherd is Departed")

From the YouTube link: "Paweł Łukaszewski's haunting Recessit Pastor Noster is sung in Ely Cathedral's medieval Lady Chapel to great effect."

Recessit Pastor Noster is the fourth Tenebrae Responsory for Holy Saturday.  CPDL gives us the text:
Recessit pastor noster fons aquae vivae
ad cuius transitum sol obscuratus est:
Nam et ille captus est, qui captivum tenebat primum hominem:
hodie portas mortis et seras pariter Salvator noster disrupit.
Verse: Destruxit quidem claustra inferni
et subvertit potentias diaboli.
{Nam et ille…]

Alternative verse
Ante cuius conspectum mors fugit,
Ad cuius vocem mortui resurgent:
Videntes autem eum portae mortis confractae sunt.

Our Shepherd is departed, the fount of living water,
At whose passing the sun was darkened,
For even he was made captive who was holding captive the first man.
Today the gates of death and their bars as well our Savior has destroyed.
Verse: Indeed He has destroyed the strongholds of the underworld
And he has overthrown the powers of the devil.
[For even he…]

Alternative verse
Before whose presence death flees
At whose voice the dead will be raised;
And seeing him the gates of death are broken.

Translation by Paul Pascal

From the Wikipedia entry on Paweł Łukaszewski:
Paweł Łukaszewski is a Polish composer of choral music. He has won seven prestigious Fryderyk Awards. According to David Wordsworth, Łukaszewski is the best-known Polish composer of his generation in and out of Poland "by far" (Wordsworth 2013, p. 50).

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Extollens vocem ("A woman called out")

This  is the Antiphon upon Magnificat at Vespers for the Third Sunday of Lent.  The singers are the "Grup de Cant gregorià de l'Ateneu de Sant Just Desvern, Director Ramon Moragas."

The text is taken from Luke 11:27b-28.
Extollens vocem quaedam mulier de turba, dixit; Beatus venter qui te portavit et ubera quae suxisti. At Jesus ait illi; Quinimo beati qui audiunt verbum Dei, et custodiunt illud.

A certain woman in the crowd raising her voice said; Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the breasts that gave thee suck. But Jesus said to her: Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.

Here's the chant score:

FYI, according to Wikipedia:
Sant Just Desvern (Catalan pronunciation: [ˈsaɲ ˈʒust dəzˈβɛrn]) (Old Catalan for Saint Justin of-the-Buckthorn) is a town near Barcelona, in the comarca of the Baix Llobregat,[1] Catalonia, Spain. Baix Llobregat has an area of 486.5km2, population of 643,419 inhabitants (1996), density of 1322.5 inhabitants/km2 and Sant Feliu de Llobregat is the capital.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Qui habitat in adiutorio altissimi (The Lent 1 Tract)

Here are two videos of this Old Roman Chant version of the Lent 1 Tract, Qui habitat in adiutorio altissimi ("He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High"). The Tract replaces the Alleluia during Lent, and is always an unbroken section of a Psalm; on Lent 1, the Tract is the whole of Psalm (90/)91.

This Tract is so long that it requires two YouTube videos!  (Palm Sunday and Good Friday are the only other days assigned long tracts like this one.)   Psalm 91 is the basis for all of the chant propers for Lent 1; I believe that's unique for the Great Church Year.   The historical Lent 1 Gospel reading is Christ's temptation in the desert, during which Satan quotes this Psalm - so it's easy to see why Psalm 91 has the status it does on this day.

Below I've posted the Gregorian version of the chant; the music is not the same, but the words are all there.  The singers on the video are Ensemble Organum, directed by Marcel Peres.

Part I:

Part II:

Here's the Psalm itself, from the link above:
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.”
For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
    and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his pinions,
    and under his wings you will find refuge;
    his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
You will not fear the terror of the night,
    nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
    nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
    ten thousand at your right hand,
    but it will not come near you.
You will only look with your eyes
    and see the recompense of the wicked.
Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place—
    the Most High, who is my refuge—
10 no evil shall be allowed to befall you,
    no plague come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
    to guard you in all your ways.
12 On their hands they will bear you up,
    lest you strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the adder;
    the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.
14 “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him;
    I will protect him, because he knows my name.
15 When he calls to me, I will answer him;
    I will be with him in trouble;
    I will rescue him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
    and show him my salvation.”

Here are the propers for for Lent I, from the Brazilian Benedictines:

Hebdomada prima quadragesimæ
Introitus: Ps. 90, 15.16 et 1 Invocabit me (cum Gloria Patri) (4m21.1s - 4083 kb) score
Graduale: Ps. 90, 11-12 Angelis suis (4m03.3s - 3805 kb) score
Tractus: Ps. 90, 1-7 et 11-16 Qui habitat (2m59.0s - 2801 kb) score
Offertorium: Ps. 90, 4-5 Scapulis suis (1m04.4s - 1011 kb) score
Communio: Ps. 90, 4-5 Scapulis suis (4m32.5s - 4261 kb) score

Here are posts on Chantblog about the propers for the First Sunday in Lent:


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