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Tuesday, 3 August 2010

More ancient chant



I thought I had better leave it a day or so before posting yet another piece of ancient chant. Today we have Alleluia Dies Sanctificatus, sung by the Ensemble Organum, directed by Marcel Peres. Here is the text and translation:
Alleluia
Dies sanctificatus illuxit nobis
venite gentes, et adorate Dominum
qui hodie descendit lux magna super terram.
Alleluia

Alleluia
The sanctified day has shone upon us:
come, peoples and adore the Lord
who today came down, the great light upon the earth.
Alleluia
This is billed as chant from the particular Churches of Rome in the 7th century. The beginning of the chant give the immediate impression of something from the middle East. As the verse continues, there is an unmistakeably Roman character stamped upon it. It is fascinating to think that perhaps this is something like the music that St Gregory the Great promoted as the particular liturgical music of the Roman Church.

Without wishing to denigrate in any way the achievement of Solesmes in what we know today as Gregorian Chant, I do think that the almost military quality of this interpretation of ancient chant would have a wide appeal among the young who are deprived of, and consequently searching for, the virtues of strength and honour that are missing from modern culture both within and without the Church.
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