Jesu Rex Admirabilis
  • Settefrati93
    Posts: 60
    I am currently planning music for the fall/winter and am hoping to introduce Jesu Rex Admirabilis (palestrina) to the choir.

    I would like to use Verse 1 antiphonally, alternating with english verses set to the chant melody. (OF mass)

    Does anyone have a good translation of this hymn to english?
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 845
    I believe there are several translations on
    CPDL
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 1,283
    Caswell's is indeed the common version (I remember my Lutheran choir looking askance at "You may our tongue forever bless" in David Hogan's setting: as if "thou mayest..." would ever have fit the meter!)
    Thanked by 1Settefrati93
  • I second the Caswell. We sing it with Walter MacNutt's chorale adaptation from RVW's Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis.
    Thanked by 2Settefrati93 Jes
  • Settefrati,

    [I should have asked this at some point in the past, since it's off topic, but- -- if there are sette frati, are there seven brides, too?]

    To the matter at hand. I don't follow, at all, what you mean by using the first verse of Jesu Rex Admirabilis, antiphonally, and then having English chant verses interspersed.

    Do you mean that you want this verse to serve as an antiphon, for which the chanted English might be the verses of, say, Psalm 83 "How lovely are thy tabernacles, O Lord of Hosts?"

    Or do you mean that you want the verse to be sung, alternately by decani and cantoris, with a cantrix intoning the English verses, again, assuming "How Lovely are thy dwelling places"?

    As a follow on...... by what process did you decide (assuming I grasp what you mean by "antiphonally") to extract this one part of a piece to serve in this capacity?

    I guess I should add: if you're using Jesu Rex Admirabilis, why do you want a translation of this. Is the goal to sing the translation, or to have it for devotional reference purposes?
  • CGM
    Posts: 356
    CGZ, I think he means that there are editions of the piece (e.g. Rick Wheeler's) where the polyphony is alternated with chanted verses from the same hymn of St. Bernard of Clairvaux whence came Palestrina's original text. So SF93 wants to use the first polyphonic verse as an antiphon in Latin, and alternate that with successive unison verses of St. Bernard's hymn in English translation. I think it could work well.
  • Settefrati93
    Posts: 60
    Yes... what CGM says
  • Settefrati,

    You need, therefore, a metrical, beautiful, poetic translation of the whole of the text of Jesu Rex Admirabilis, if I understand you.
    Thanked by 2Settefrati93 Jes
  • Settefrati93
    Posts: 60
    Yes!!
    Thanked by 1Jes
  • Do you already have one?
  • Settefrati93
    Posts: 60
    I planned to use the caswell and slightly modify it to fit the meter...thanks to the fine assistance I received :-)
  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,144
    The Latin text and the chant melody are in long meter (8888), while the Caswell translation is in short meter (8686). That means you would have to add two syllables to every second line of the hymn.

    You would do better to find a long meter translation. Perhaps Ray Palmer and/or Robert Bridges did one.
    Thanked by 1Settefrati93