Ambrose, Hilary, or Anonymous -
  • I have just written a commissioned anthem for TB and organ on the hymn at Lauds during Advent - Vox clara ecce intonat, using Edward Caswall's translation.
    While commonly attributed to Ambrose of Milan, it is also attributed to Hilary of Arles, among others, and by most modern scholarship is attributed to the seventh century manifestation of Anonymous.

    On the back cover of my anthem I wish to place the chant version with the original Latin. My question is - is the melody given in Liber Hymnarius the oldest one associated with this hymn, or is there another of greater antiquity? Oddly, this hymn does not appear in Liber Usualis. Somehow, I don't believe that the melody given in LH, usually associated with Conditor alme siderum, has claim to antiqui8ty with this text. Does anyone know otherwise?. (Of course, we can have no idea what melody was sung with this hymn when it was written.)
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen tomjaw
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,383
    The earliest melody I could track down online is from the Paris Breviary (13th century) and can be found, along with the "Roman melody" and a melody from the Augsburg Antiphoner (16th century) at the Scociety of St Bede - Liturgical Resources. Also, see this Hymnoglypt, which seems to be sourced from Lossius's Psalmodia (1579).
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 1,863

    This Hymn was revised and will also be found as the "En clara vox redarguit" in the Liber Usualis, AR 1949/1960.

    We don't yet have an index of dates for melodies, but the Cantus database may be useful in the future for this.

    The Dominican melody (similar to the 'Roman') is from the 13th century according to the Dominican Hymnarium. The melody from the Conditor alme is also given as from the 13th c.

    This is the Cantus link for this Hymn,

    Usually the best source of historical information on Hymns is "HYMNS OF THE ROMAN LITURGY by the Rev. JOSEPH CONNELLY, M.A." This is that he was able to build on the work of the experts of the 19th and early 20th c. The following is from his book,
    Author. Unknown. Probably of the fifth century.
    Use. Lauds of Advent.
    1. clara. If vox refers to the Baptist's message, clara means unambiguous, forthright, loud. But if vox be taken as referring to the person ofthe Baptist as in Ego vox clamantis in deserto, John I, 23, clara would refer to a personal quality, e.g. the famous Baptist. The unrevised line Vox clara ecce intonat could easily mean that.
    redarguit, contradicts, refutes, rebukes.
    2 . Some make obscura quaeque the object of redarguit personans, then meaning loudly resounding, filling the world with the message. Others interpret redarguit absolutely, obscura quaeque then being taken after personans. Quaeque, everything ; cf 2,13 . Personans; cf 19,6. note.
    The rest ofthe hymn is the Baptist's message.
    5-6. Some take torpida with jacens, prostrate in sloth; others take it with mens, the slothful soul, the soul that once was slothful.
    7. sidus may refer to the star of Jacob, Num. 24,17, to the sun of justice, Mal. 4,2 or to the stella splendida et matutina o f Apoc. 22,16.
    8. This line and the next refer to John 1,29.
    10. laxare=solvere, pay our debt. Gratis, freely; cf justificati gratis per gratiam ipsius, Rom. 3,24.
    13. secunda fulserit in contrast with refulget of line 7. Fulserit, shine or, if the equivalent of fulgens advenerit, comes in glory.
    14. cinxerit, girdles the world with fear. Unrevised: mundumque horror cinxerit.
    15. pro reatu, in proportion to, according to, our guilt; cf 29, 3.
  • Many thanks, Chuck and TomJaw.
    Actually, I have Connelly's book - strange I didn't think to consult it.
    Apparently the Conditor tune has a greater antiquity with this hymn than I would have thought, so maybe I'll go ahead and use it. I do, though, really like the mode VIII melody from the Hymnolgist, which Chuck provided.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen tomjaw
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 1,863
    The mode VIII melody 'appears' in more manuscripts than the mode I, and has more variations... I would suspect it may be older. Although I would also wonder if older melodies were less ornate? and go for the Mode I.

    Of course making any judgement from such a small selection on manuscripts, from such a wide timeframe, could be very unreliable.

    EDIT, another source of dates is in the back of Cantus Selecti,
    31. En clara vox redarguit. — Hymn, ad Laud. Dom. Adventus. Textus originalis incipit «Vox clara ecce intonat» et differt aliquantulum. In Off. monast. saec. IX. (Vatic.).
  • The LU does not have "En clara vox redarguit", because the LU is an anthology. Lauds for Sundays or ferias of Advent are not within the scope of what the LU provides, it basically only provides Lauds for 1st class feasts. When I wanted to have my schola sing this hymn, we always had to use a printout.
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 1,863
    @JonathanKK Thanks, I thought it was in the L.U. but now I check I see you are right, Anyway it is in the Antiphonal. I see I someone else thinks it is in the L.U. ...

    Cantus selecti GABC version here,
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen