Sequence: Purification of the St Mary & Conversion of St Paul (in english)
  • enjoy them while the link is hot !

    Sequences; Purification of St Mary (Feb 2) & Conversion of St Paul (Jan 25).pdf

    both modern notation and neumes versions.

    for latin originals see:

    Les Proses D'Adam de Saint-Victor by Pierre Aubry

    I shall typeset them all in english throughout 2011.

    If somebody out there ever uses this, let me know, many think they are impractical.
    whereas I memorized the first melody by heart and sing it in the shower. being a variation of the ave maris stella hymn melody, but better.
  • Lovely prose, and beautiful work. Are the translations your own?
    I noticed a discrepancy with the Latin original at stanza 9a: "medicina seculi" in the original, for which there is no equivalent phrase in the translated version. I was wondering if this was a deliberate centonization or just an oversight. Also is it right to assume that the neums conform to the original, or were adjustments made to fit the translation?

    All in all a beautiful job. I look forward to seeing the complete work when it is finished. The Church is in your debt!
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,431
    Dang, Chris, this is marvelous!
  • I am very happy you enjoy these works.
    The credit for the text and music is not mine to be shared.
    This music and text has never been put together before but has remained separated. These are rare and neglected books from the shelfs of academics libraries, known only to the scholars, not the the typical precentors or parish musical directors. These are the counterparts to help complete and fill in the missing pieces to the various English Plainchant books Jeffrey Tucker has already scanned and shared as .pdf's.

    I am but a humble messenger, restorer and promoter of these priceless liturgical music antiquities.
    It's my been own pleasure to discover them, which we now share together.

    Pedro, are you from Italy or Argentina?

    The neumes/notes of the original latin melodies will remain the same.
    The rule I made is to not change them. No exceptions.

    the discrepancy in 9a. was something I did not notice, however, I am able to overlook it because most of the verses give a good enough paraphrase for my own taste.I would welcome any translation someone else would like to make to retain the ""medicina seculi" in english. I am eager for any type of partnership or criticism within or of this work, minor or major.

    I do not feel that I am grammatically gifted enough to be able to translate latin hymns into english while retaining the same poetic metre with somewhat accurate meaning.

    My gifts lay more in the typesetting, the organizing of booklets, iconographic selection, and actual singing.

    The translations are nearly always going to those of Digby S. Wrangham, from the late 19th c. I take them all from his book and occasionally the Sarum Sequences book or possibly something by the Plainchant medieval music society folks. I only make minor modifications to the texts when I feel they sound strange or are too inaccurate and not too difficult.

    When I do make translations from scratch they usually are no better than Fr. Aidan Keller's and rarely have the correct meter, they are usuable and accurate but debateably too awkward for parish use. Not that I mean to be too critical of Fr. Aidan, I do think he is more talented than I am. The quality of the hymn seems to depends how long a person spends on it, ultimately if you spend enough time and have enough help, anything is possible.

    I made no changes at all to the Conversion of St. Paul's Sequence.
    It is unliklely I will make more than 2 or 3 minor changes to most sequences, many none at all.

    Example would be...the original beginning of "
    was "LET us, the heart's shrine preparing"

    I changed it to "NOW, our heart's temple preparing"

    I felt that the word temple was important to be used because the most common name of this feast in the Novus Ordo Latin Church is "Presentation of Christ in the Temple". The traditional name for the feast since the 6th century in the East has been this name as well. So it is the standard title used by most liturgical christians today.

    However west from the 8th century when it adopted the feast, up to 1970 (I may be a century off, going by memory).
    Has used the title purification of st mary the virgin (or BVM), and that is the name I prefer for the moment. This made it fall more in the Sanctorale (proper of saints) than the Temporale (proper of season).
    Perhaps a change to the new name does make some sense, i remain uncertain.

    the only two other I made are:

    "3a. Saviour ! here, here, Mary lowly ! Holy Son and mother holy !"

    is now:

    "3a. Here the Saviour ! There is Mary! Child of mercy mother holy !"

    the "here, here" and "holy" repeated twice sounded too odd and not quite a literal enough translation.
    my substitute doesnt fully capture what it literally says either, but it is an improvement and more importantly it doesnt sound as peculiar in wording.

    the last substitute which I always make when possible is:

    "9a. Lovely light o'er ocean's waters !"

    is now:

    "9a. Lovely light o'er the sea's waters !"

    One of the standard lines that Anglicans (and possibly english catholics as well, especially from the oxford movement) tend to use to translate the words "Maris", as it is frequently used in marian antiphons and hymnody is to use ocean, whereas the more literal precise translation is "sea". Growing up in Hampton, Va there was an elementary school by the name of "Saint Mary Star of the Sea" not Ocean.

    I also avoid using "World without End" and prefer "unto the ages of ages" .
    As far as I know all the academic books on chant also translate the "Saecula saeculorum" this same way.
    The world without end is an unfortunate liturgical loan from Thomas Cranmer and his friends.

    Most of the work anglicans did with english as a liturgical language is close to perfect, but theres little odd parts and errors from time to time which i find annoying.

    However I have learned to change as little as possible and not be too concerned with this because

    #1 it is time consuming to have them be both accurate and in the correct metre (sometimes impossible)
    #2 it is difficult to improve over what has always been done
    #3 some anglo catholics and others who grew up with these phrases may occasionally not like the more literal accurate changes
    #4 the most important thing right now is simply to have plainchant/gregorian chant in reasonably good english at all, fine tuning can occur later.

    I gave these two hymns to several priests at the anglican use mid-atlantic gathering. They appeared to be receptive and happy to have them.

    P.S. One of the reasons that the Eastern Orthodox Churches (and E. Catholic) have had an easier time with their hymns being put into any language and retaining total accuracy is that they are not limited to strict meters.

    (the carpatho-ruthenian church is an exception, they do use more strict hymnody, but thats probably latin influence)

    There may be some profound advantages to not using the strict metrical hymnody within the latin church, so as to make international liturgical languages possible. (it's not as if we want all of west africa and ancient yoruban dialects to be replaced with latin or english hymnody). The first noted office breviary books (1965-68) for singing from after vatican II had accurate translations of the traditional post-trent latin hymns but set to something like a psalm tone, they didnt always sound the best, but they did retain the accurate translation of what was being said. This idea could without too much effort be improved upon and be feasable and successful.

    This being said, melodies other than the gregorian/western european music should probably be used in places as culturally removed as Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and Congo. But of course this may not be so easy or even possible in an era when the ethic and timeless beauty of traditional "pagan" ritual music is under attack from western commercialization, colonialization and "vernacular rock/pop/hip-hop music". What worked 700 years ago may be more difficult today or close to impossible. Being a lover of tradition means I respect everyone elses liturgical traditions (or right to inculturation) equally to my own, within the christian church context.

    Now on the other hand when Gregorian chant is sung in Japanese and Chinese churches it does sound different.
    Just as the french add their own accent to chant different from germans or spanish. So some inculturation is natural and inevitable, how far it goes is the question.

    Ukraine for example, and even sometimes the Coptic or Ethiopian Church to a agree, will share the exact same hymns as the Greek church, but they will have entirely different melodies, equal in beauty, equally tied to tradition, almost as old (in znammeny at least) but distinctly different melodies (and languages). That sort of authentic inculturation is very hard to do with the counter-traditional ethos remaining strong.
  • I currently have no method for permanently hosting what I typeset.
    I have plenty to share, I will remedy this situation soon, hopefully Dr. Renwick can help.

    here once again is a link that will be dead shortly.

    Sequences; Purification of St Mary (Feb 2) & Conversion of St Paul (Jan 25)