Best Te Deum in English
  • KyleM18
    Posts: 125
    Does anyone know of a good modern english translation of the Te Deum? The "You are God, we praise you" just doesn't sit right with me, it seems to be oversimplified. If I have to, I'll use the Ordinariate translation, but I'd like to see what is out there.
  • There is always Christopher Idle's metric paraphrase "God we praise thee, God we bless thee"
  • JonathanKKJonathanKK
    Posts: 365
    The Campion Missal uses the translation given in the Parish Book of Chant, which is from Fortescue's 1913 book entitled Latin Hymns. This is what I go with for typesetting-with-translation purposes (I put a semi-colon after "We praise Thee, O God" as Campion does; this I think is the only difference from PBC, though PBC is significantly revised in capitalization from the original.).
  • OlivierOlivier
    Posts: 52
    A different version may be found in the St. Pius X hymnal, #46.
  • I must confess, as one who is clean washed of any unseemly bias, and absent any stain of his cousin, prejudice, as one shorn, shriven, of all favouritism, whose fairmindedness is wtihout blemish, that the Ordinariate version cannot be bettered in heaven or in earth. There does not exist a more singable, graced, and poetic casting of Remigius' sublime paean into the English tongue than that set by such inspired masters of the musical craft as Gibbons, Tallis, Howells, and Britten, than that found in the Ordinariate's Use and its parent partrimony. A more self-evident truth has yet to appear on this blessed earth, this forested globe on which we are privileged to trace our pilgrimage way, to fashion our wayfaring home.

    If there were any doubt clouding the mind of some unfortunate soul, the example provided with such kindness and grace for us by NihilNominus should dispel it even as Apollo's bright and stallioned car casts into far off darkness all those nether-world realms of stygian gloom.
  • Oops, same one as @NihilNominis...
  • Caleferink
    Posts: 227
    Albeit it uses an abbreviated form, I've liked Healey Willan's setting, which uses the traditional Anglican/Ordinariate text.
  • Chaswjd
    Posts: 84
    I would suggest the Tallis Te Deum from the Dorian Service. It is relatively short and not terribly difficult.

    https://imslp.org/wiki/Special:IMSLPImageHandler/121924
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 3,650
    Agreeing with MJO's assessment of the BoDW-Anglican translation, I am forever moved by the setting as found in The Hymnal 1940, with Anglican chant by E. G. Monk and W. Croft. To me this is the quintessential congregational setting.

  • Many thanks for the above, Chuck!
    We (the entire congregation) sing this Te Deum on the anniversaries of all major feasts of importance in the life of Walsingham and/or the Ordinariate. It is sung just after the dismissal and is accompanied by clouds of smoke arising from one or more thuribler's thuribles as he/they stand before the altar, swinging their censors in full circles in the air. After Te Deum is sung, it is followed by a series of ritual versicles and responses, and finally a collect of thanksgiving. This is followed by the recessional hymn. You really have to be there to believe it. The experience of Walsingham is rather like that of those Slavs who visited Hagia Sophia and didn't know whether they were in heaven or earth - and thus chose orthodoxy. And thus should every mass be.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • jefe
    Posts: 148
    For a change of pace, I just finished this edition, backdating the notation to work for our Compline Choirs. It is for men, a cappella, AATB and has that same through composed chant style i appreciate in Psalm settings. I guess it would work up a minor third with mixed voice. We will sing this on our May 7th Compline.
    jefe
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • Nice work, jefe.

    The translation, though, is graceless.
    There is just something about all those 'you thises and thats' that is utterly lacking in grace and has an air of presumptuous and froward respectlessness. What to do about modern usage, though, is indeed a problem with this pronoun.

    And then, there is that old 'God of power and might' which we thankfully got rid of in the mass several years ago. What, pray, is wrong with 'Lord God of Sabaoth', or '...of Hosts?

    Still and all, I admire the Slavonic chant and what you have done with it!
    Thanked by 1CCooze
  • The translation which has been recommended here is actually from the Book of Common Prayer.

    http://www.bcponline.org/
    Easiest way to find is to look up Daily Morning Prayer: Rite One and Ctrl+F for "We Praise Thee, O God"
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 3,650
    Exactly, Casavant Organist. And it is used in the Ordinariate now, as well. And, of course, that explains its being in The Hymnal 1940.
  • tsoapm
    Posts: 70
    I am forever moved by the setting as found in The Hymnal 1940, with Anglican chant by E. G. Monk and W. Croft. To me this is the quintessential congregational setting.
    A comment that inspired me to try pointing the Italian text for domestic use and also suggesting to our maestro.

    Is there a well executed recording of this available online somewhere, for illustrative purposes? I haven’t found anything myself so far. Besides which, I’m probably not the best person to say whether it was well done.
  • >>> I must confess, as one who is clean washed of any unseemly bias, and absent any stain of his cousin, prejudice, as one shorn, shriven, of all favouritism, whose fairmindedness is wtihout blemish [...]

    woo, you dizzy me :)
    I never realized that MJO might stand for Most Just One lol
  • >> There is just something about all those 'you thises and thats' that is utterly lacking in grace and has an air of presumptuous and froward respectlessness. What to do about modern usage, though, is indeed a problem with this pronoun.

    Agreed !!! I have often wondered why English usage cannot embrace both You and Thou, along the same lines as the "tu" and "usted".
  • Kathy
    Posts: 4,830
    I'm going to cast a vote for the version in the current LOH translation.

    Just saying the black...
  • tsoapm
    Posts: 70
    I wonder if I could ask some pointing advice for my Italian here? I originally pointed the last line as follows:

    Tu sei la nostra speranza, non sa-|remo con-|fusi in e-|terno.

    But having tried it out a few times, it seems a rather abrupt way to end the hymn. I’m wondering whether it might be better to end:

    non saremo confusi |in e-|ter-|no.

    This actually seems closer to the English version provided (never |be con-|found-|ed), but I don’t want to inadvertently do something horrific and Anglican-thump-inducing, so I thought it might be best to check.
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • 1) ...non sa-| remo . con-| fusi . in e-| terno.

    This is definitely the best solution, the most musically satisfying.

    2)... non saremo confusi | in . e-| ter-| no.

    This is alright, and follows a rather dated method by putting the cadence far to the end of the text.
    But it is rather clunky and lacks the graceful flow of number one.

    It is better, when possible, to move the cadence farther back, as you have done in example no. 1.
    This allows for a more musical and literary flow, and avoids the old 'Anglican thump'.
    Thanked by 1tsoapm
  • tsoapm
    Posts: 70
    Many thanks. I think I’ve tended towards the first solution, generally. It’s only at the end that I had my doubts, in the absence of a decisive, closing “Amen”.

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