Translations in Gregorian Missal
  • Does anyone know the source of the nice translations of the Psalms in the Gregorian Missal (Solesmes)? I can't seem to find it in the front matter.
  • incantuincantu
    Posts: 989
    Don't you think some of the translations are a bit overwrought? Oh wait, we can't say "wrought." Don't you think some are a little... over-did?
    I refer to these when making translations for my weekly programs, but often make different word choices.
  • is that allowed?

    kidding. Well, I rather like them. But then I like the Anglican Use Gradual!
  • incantuincantu
    Posts: 989
    Well, Wheelock's Latin Grammer does have a copyright on the passive periphrastic.
  • G
    Posts: 1,397
    Wheelock's Latin Grammer does have a copyright on the passive periphrastic.

    I think they have antibiotics for that now...

    (Save the Liturgy, Save the World)
  • The Foreward does indicate "The notated Gregorian chant pieces proper to each Mass, are generally followed by our own translation, printed across the full length of the page. Its only function is to facilitate comprehension of the sung Latin text, and it is in no way intended for use in the Liturgy."

    So it would appear Solesmes did its own translations. I would not extrapolate that statement to understand they made a translation of all the psalms, just the ones used in the Gregorian Missal. I have found these translations to be useful in that they give a very strong indication of the Latin meaning. Not overwrought at all.

    In contrast, for the Mass orations and Ordo Missae, they have put in the ICEL version, with copyright notice and the statement: "Alongside the Latin prayers, in a second column, have been placed the corresponding texts of the official liturgical translation for English speaking countries. These were created for the needs of the vernacular liturgy and they are printed here in conformity with official directives, even though they do not always constitute a literal, word for word rendering of the Latin." No further comment is needed.
  • incantuincantu
    Posts: 989
    I had assumed that introductory material was translated from the French, and that "our own translation" was the one in the French edition. Did Solesmes really do an additional English translation?
  • That's the word I keep hearing. Ted Marier apparently reported this. But I don't know.
  • Well, knock me over with a feather. Solesmes went to the trouble of preparing an edition with English translations of the chant texts, and then just translated into English the explanation of where the French translations came from? Wow.
  • Remember the Solesmes monks' sojourn in Britain, including their collaboration with British chant scholars.
  • incantuincantu
    Posts: 989
    Um, I don't have my copy of the French edition in front of me (we do use the French editions at the French National Church) but it seems to me that yes, a lot of the introductory material is the same in French and English. I admit that I assumed the same of the chant translations. Don't forget that the rest of the translations were taken from ICEL and are not the work of Solesmes. It's not unreasonable to think that the translations of the antiphons might have come from another source (which I think was Jeffrey's original question) as well.
  • SkirpRSkirpR
    Posts: 854
    Reviving this dusty old thread... Just received my new edition of the Gregorian Missal which updates the English translations of the rubrics, Order of Mass, orations, etc.

    I noticed that the translations of the propers whose texts = the Missal propers are now those from the Missal vs. Solesmes' previous translation.

    I for one think this is excellent. Others may have a different opinion.
    Thanked by 1DougS
  • SkipR, the Missal does not give the Introit Psalm.

    (as has been noted, the Missal propers are for spoken Masses, and lack the Offertories, Graduals, Alleluias, and Introit Psalm).

    QUESTION: where did they get the Psalm? I assume the Revised Grail, which will probably appear in Lectionaries 10-20 years from now?

    The Solesmes translations of the Propers seem to me to be a "modern" revision of what they put in Mass & Vespers. The two are similar, but not identical.
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,451
    I think you missed Skirp's point.

    Where the Introit Antiphons (and, I imagine, the Communion Antiphon as well) match (they often do), Solesmes is using the Missal's English translation, instead of it's earlier ad-hoc translation.

    This seems like a reasonable thing for them to have done.
  • I should have been more clear: sorry.

    I am asking about the Psalm for the Introit. Where did they get it? Revised Grail ?
  • SkirpRSkirpR
    Posts: 854
    Paul is correct that the Introit Psalm verse is not in the Missal. (And if one reads closely the introduction to the Graduale from the Ordo Cantus Missae, it is technically no longer required when singing the Gregorian Introit in the OF.)

    I am asking about the Psalm for the Introit. Where did they get it? Revised Grail ?

    That would have been even better, but it appears they kept with the translation they had used before for the Psalm verses.
    Thanked by 1DougS
  • SkirpRSkirpR
    Posts: 854
    And also, upon further inspection the chants themselves appear to have been re-engraved, although the musical content is the same (i.e. the pitches and set of neumes in use remains the same as in the Graduale, with rhythmic markings - but more music appears to have been fit on each line).
  • That's very interesting. The previous version of the Gregorian Missal (the one CMAA put online) is nothing more than a xerox photocopy reproduction of the 1908 Graduale Romanum (reprinted by Solesmes in 1961, also on the CMAA server). I suppose it is at least possible that they re-typset the book so they can copyright it . . . but this would be hard to believe.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,176
    Oh, there are differences between the two books, all right.

    • The GM 1990 adds the Solesmes rhythmic markings;
    • At least some of the scores have been newly engraved: e.g., the gradual Custodi me on page 295 of the GR 1908 and page 498 of the GM 1990;
    • The two books are arranged according to different liturgical calendars (the calendars in force respectively in 1990 and 1908);
    • The GM 1990 adds vernacular translations.

  • I was only referring the chant itself. I was not referring to the vernacular translations.

    By the way, the rhythmic marks are identical to the 1908, 1922, 1990, and 1961 editions.

    However, needless to say, there are a couple new chants in the Gregorian Missal that don't appear in 1908.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,176
    Hm. I don't see the episemas in the 1908 book; is that what you have too?
  • Hi, chonak. The link you reference is the Vatican Edition, published by the Vatican press. Solesmes put out their own edition in 1908, which has rhythmic markings. Not one of those markings has been changed, even in the Gregorian Missal (1990 version), which is merely a xerox copy of the old Solesmes editions. Another way to put this would be as follows: in the 1990 Gregorian Missal, they did not re-typeset the chants. Look at the 1961 Solesmes Graduale Romanum and you will see that the Gregorian Missal is a xerox copy of this (with a few new chants added that did not exist in 1961).
  • In the year 1908:
    - The Vatican published its own edition, THE official and approved version, without rhythmic signs. The book exists as itself but it was more destined as a draft for editors to make copies. It's big: height 24cm, width 16cm, thick as 8cm. Based on this edition, the major editors published their copy labelled as "Vatican edition":
    - Solesmes through Desclée/"St John the Evangelist" as Desclée No 695
    - Pustet
    - Mechlin/Dessain
    - Schwann

    But Solesmes also published at the same time another Graduale with their rhythmic signs, under the supervision of Dom Mocquereau:
    - numbered as Desclée No 696
    - there also exists a "696A" which is similar, with some appendix in the end...

    Dom Mocquereau also published later in the year the first volume of his "Le nombre musical grégorien" to explain and justify his theories on rhythm.

    Needless to say that choirs quickly preferred the rhythmic signs edition and forgot about the official Vatican no-rhythmic-signs edition. It's much easier to sing together in a choir if you can read the horizontal and vertical episemas, the dot mora(e), etc.
    So the 695 quickly disappeared and until the last edition in 1961, the number 696 remained as the main number for the Graduale Romanum from Solesmes. Like the famous 801 was the number of the English Liber Usualis.


    Thanked by 1DougS
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,176
    Thanks for talking about the Solesmes 1908 edition; I haven't been able to find it on the CMAA server for download, so let me know if you're aware of it. Watershed has the book, sort of, in Cardine's Graduel neumé.
  • Jacques Perrière, are you saying that Solesmes published a Vatican Gradual sans rhythmic markings in 1908 ?
  • Paul, the markings are for the most part unchanged from the earlier to later Solesmes editions. However there are exceptions. For example the Communion for Transfiguration in the 1948 ed of No. 696 has only dots at the quarter bars. The 1956 edition has additional vertical and horizontal episemas.
  • To Mr. Paul Onnonhoaraton:
    Yes, Solesmes published both editions in 1908: 695 and 696.

    - 1908 Desclée Lib. Grad. No. 695.
    Graduale Sacrosanctae Romanae Ecclesiae de Tempore et de Sanctis. Ss. D.N. Pii X. Pontificis Maximi jussu restitutum et editum. Cui addita sunt festa novissima. Ad exemplar editionis typicae. Romae. Typis Vaticanis. Without rhythmic signs. Decretum 7 Aug 1907, 12 Aug 1908. Dated 1908.|./2|./3

    - 1908 Desclée Lib. Grad. No. 696.
    Graduale Sacrosanctae Romanae Ecclesiae de Tempore et de Sanctis. Ss. D.N. Pii X. Pontificis Maximi jussu restitutum et editum. Ad exemplar editionis typicae concinnatum et rhythmicis signis a Solesmensibus monachis. Romae. Typis Vaticanis. With rhythmic signs. Decretum 7 Aug 1907, 16 Oct 1908. Dated 1908.|./3

    - 1908/1912 Desclée Lib. Grad. No. 696A.
    Same as 696 but with an appendix for the saints of France.

    (Some photos are mine. Some are collected from other sources.)
    There are a lot of reasons why there are two versions.
    When the Vatican commission discussed about an official version, Dom Pothier, former monk of Solesmes, was the chairman of this commission. But Dom Mocquereau, current monk of Solesmes who continued and developped the work of Dom Pothier, was a member of this commission too. The book "The Restoration of Gregorian Chant: Solesmes and the Vatican Edition" by Pierre Combe will tell you more about this. There was a "friendly" but "tough" opposition between Dom Pothier and Dom Mocquereau. Dom Pothier would create the neumes in a way that the spaces between neumes indicate the rhythm, which is a bit difficult to decode when you sing. Another reason was to leave the interpretation of rhythm to the choir master. Dom Pothier did not like very much the rhythmic signs introduced by Dom Mocquereau after him. Anyway, St Pius X the pope at the time gently forced them to agree on a compromise and that gave the "Vatican edition", which has no rhythmic signs. At least they agreed on restored melodies: you can see little differences between Solesmes Graduale and Liber Usualis before and after 1908; for example "Intr. Dominus dixit" is different.
    So they agreed on the melody and a no-rhythmic-signs edition.
    Of course the choirs around the world (monk choirs, cathedral choirs) quickly preferred the rhythmic "Dom Mocquereau" version. That's why even though there is a no-rhythmic-signs version of the Graduale from Solesmes = 695, it did not sell as much as the rhythmic version = 696. To the limit of my knowledge there is no other 695 than the one from year 1908. All the later Graduale were with rhythmic signs and numbered 696.
    Mr. Arthur Connick talks about a change in a later edition. Yes, it happens and that demands a good knowledge of the Gregorian chant repertoire to find out where the changes are. :-)

    As itself, the printed Vatican Graduale was big and not practical to handle for singing: 24cm x 16cm x 8cm.|./1|./2
    I think it was more to be used as an official master copy for editors and printers. Sometimes you can find this book on eBay/Abebooks/etc., makes me think they must have sold a few. Interesting to look at a Vatican edition: the pages are not properly cut like if the page binding was not its main priority.
    Major editors around the world were allowed to published their own copy of the Vatican edition: Solesmes/Desclée, Pustet, Mechlin/Dessain, Schwann.

    P.S.: My apologizes if I made some mistakes in this story telling.