Translation of Office Hymns
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,053
    So here's what I think the world needs: a translation of the Liber Hymnarius, in book form, duplication rights with purchase, each translation given in 4 ways:

    1) in verse form, without music
    2) with its proper chant melody
    3) set to one of 4 familiar chant melodies (eg Jesu Dulcis Memoria)
    4) set to a hymn melody with accompaniment (eg Eisenach, Old 100th, etc.)

    Especially considering the forthcoming translation of the breviary, this seems to me to be a project of the moment. Yes? No?
  • Maureen
    Posts: 652
    I think it sounds very cool. The English hymn melody settings wouldn't be too difficult to find, since most of the Latin office hymns have been translated into verse that is in the public domain. (And reasonably easy to find on books.google.com and on webpages.) However, putting all this info together into one convenient place and permitting duplication for singing -- that would be eminently useful.

    It would be even more useful if you made an associated or included mp3 or CD album of the chant melodies, of course....
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    I like it! I should add that, when possible, the editor should use the common melody (and paraphrase) if there is one. IE, "Deus tuorum militum" should be set to the tune of the same name, "At the Lamb's High Feast" to SALZBURG, etc. And for the other texts, I for one would like to see more tunes than the 3 protestant tunes that modern Catholic hymnals set everything to. Use a few chorales, English tunes, Scottish psalter tunes, Genevan tunes, etc. The metrical propers that come with Fr. Webbe's collections are a good model. Or even commission a few new tunes.

    That seems like an invaluable project.
  • G
    Posts: 1,387
    Love the idea.

    (Save the Liturgy, Save the World)
  • stpetric
    Posts: 9
    I understand the Benedictine nuns of St Cecilia's Abbey in Ryde, England, have translated all the hymns of the Liturgia Horarum. Many of their translations appear in The Mundelein Psalter. They're pretty accurate translations, in the meter of the Latin originals so they can be used with the tunes in the Liber Hymnarius.

    Does anyone know whether they make their full set available to others? I've had no luck tracking it down, and I've had trouble accessing them through their website.
  • Pes
    Posts: 623
    Great idea! Use the web to compile it.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,053
    There was an excellent one recently in the M. Psalter--maybe last Sunday? Really easy to sing, rhymed (not all are) and full of imagery that was obviously "old."
  • Pes
    Posts: 623
    Hey Kathy, have a look at the "conductus" thread here and see if any of that music is to your liking. I'm wondering to what extent you think those things can be used to set different texts.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,053
    They would sound really cool! The only problem I see is metrical--the hymn texts are traditionally LM = Ambrosian Meter = (for those who might not know) 4 iambic lines of 8 syllables each. The conductuses (conducti?) are 7 or 9.
  • G
    Posts: 1,387
    Re-opening an old thread, I realize many of the Office Hymns do not rhyme in the original, but I really, really, REALLY prefer rhymed hymns.

    When I win the lottery and give you a genius grant so that you can spend all your time on this project, can ya make'm all rhyme?

    If you say yes, I'll go buy a lottery ticket.

    (Save the Liturgy, Save the World)
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,053
    Geri, I will make them rhyme!

    Buy a ticket. Buy several. I would love to sit in a cell and do this all day long. Of course the cell would have to have access to an online Latin translation program. (Does everyone know of the Catholic college students' best friend, William Whitaker's Words? http://www.archives.nd.edu/cgi-bin/words.exe

    And I would have to have access to my children's schola. Hmm. This would have to be a nearby monastery...