Friday, June 27, 2014

"Laudate Dominum: Gregorian Chant By The Trappist Monks of the Abbey of Gethsemani, Kentucky, 1951"

The complete LP you see in the video above. Recorded in 1951.

Ordinary Time thoughts

  • I'm finished with my move now; the process itself was a disaster.   I seriously underestimated how much stuff there was to move (even though I thought the house was almost empty!).  And procrastination took its toll, too - so I ended up on the last day having to call the junk haulers and ended up tossing a bunch of stuff - including about a thousand books by my estimate.   Interestingly, I'm not sorry about the books (yet); they were all the books I'd ever bought, plus many others not mine.   I was just so tired by that time, though, that trying to pack them up seemed impossible.  I didn't have the time anyway.
  • More to the point:  I have two Kindles.  And what good, really, is a paperback copy of Slaughterhouse-Five from 1973 with its cover half torn off?   But I did lose one nice cane chair and a few things from the china cabinet I probably should have saved.  And I saved some of the really oldest books - a leather-bound copy of Leaves of Grass for instance, and a few others like this.   And a few newer ones, too.
  • Somehow, though, I still have massive numbers of boxes filled with - well, what?  Ancestral junk and stuff from earlier eras, mostly.   I have to go through it all.  I don't really love having things; in fact, every other time I've moved in my life it's been a snap, since I've never really owned much stuff - and mostly had a pretty light grip on whatever I did own.  It was easy to leave things behind.  
  • Now, I'm trying to give the china and photos and toys and papers and stuff to all the nieces and nephews.  I do have a few nice pieces of old furniture, too, and will happily give that away as well.  Can't wait to be pared down to nothing again.
  • My tuxedo cat did die, just two nights ago.  He was 16-1/2, though, and that's a good life - and he hadn't been feeling well for awhile now anyway.  It's amazing that he lived that long, in fact, because he had a lot of problems:  a wild, crazy heart murmur for one.  His heart always sounded like it was jumping out of his chest, and beat in such a wacky pattern (if there was a pattern at all!) - but it was a really big heart.  He slept with me every night, and was sort of dog-like in following me around and staying with me.  I loved him and miss him - but fortunately I do have these other two critters right here, for comfort.
  • I live sort of far out in the country now - but, amazingly, literally right across the street from an Episcopal Church.  A church that rings its bells at 9 a.m., noon, and 5p.m. daily, in fact - whereupon I say the Angelus.  Interestingly, this parish has been described to me as "charismatic" - so the Angelus thing is pretty bizarre.   I don't think they're doing it on purpose - but who knows?  I'll have to ask.
  • Not to worry, either, since there are about 5 other Episcopal churches within an 8-mile radius or so; that's the way it is here in the northeast.  So if I'm not good with "charismatic" I can no doubt find something else.  But it's an interesting thought that I can tumble out of bed on Sunday morning and be at Divine Service in about a minute.
  • My little cat just sits in the window and watches bird TV all day.  And every morning I go for a two-mile walk along old country roads with my dog.   It's all quite splendid.
  • There's even a little marsh down the street, with all kinds of interesting flowers and grasses.  I'm quite happy here, actually - and ecstatic to be out of the other place.  I enjoy being a renter, and am thrilled at having a much smaller place.
  • The osprey chicks are getting really big.
  •  I have quite a bit more to say, I know - but somehow can't get it out right now.  So, till another time, then....

Sunday, June 8, 2014

The Pentecost Troparion: "Blessed art Thou, O Christ our God"

This beautiful chant is Georgian:  "K'urtkheul khar shen":

From the YouTube page:
Troparion of Pentecost, sung by the choir of the convent of Sameba-Jikheti. It can be found on their CD "Chant melodies."

"Blessed art Thou, O Christ our God, Who hast revealed the fishermen as most wise by sending down upon them the Holy Spirit - through them Thou didst draw the world into Thy net. O Lover of Man, glory to Thee!"

Here's a melody used by the Greek Orthodox Church for the same chant, sung in English:

And this is the same Troparion, sung to "Tone 8 / Russian Imperial Court Chant":

More about troparia here:
A troparion (Greek τροπάριον, plural: troparia, τροπάρια; Church Slavonic: тропа́рь, tropar′) in Byzantine music and in the religious music of Eastern Orthodox Christianity is a short hymn of one stanza, or one of a series of stanzas. The word probably derives from a diminutive of the Greek tropos (“something repeated”, “manner”, “fashion”). The early troparion was also called sticheron[citation needed] (probably from stichos, “verse”); but currently the two terms are treated separately, with different melodies used for each.

Most troparia are chanted to one of the Eight Tones used in the Eastern liturgical tradition, though some have unique melodies to which they are chanted. Sometimes, troparia will be interpolated between verses of a psalm or other scripture.

In casual, unqualified use, troparion usually refers to the apolytikion (Greek: ἀπολυτίκιον), or "dismissal hymn", a troparion chanted near the end of Vespers which establishes the overall theme for the liturgical day, for which it is called the "troparion of the day". It is chanted again at the beginning of Matins, read at each of the Little Hours, and chanted at the Divine Liturgy following the Little Entrance.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Chant for Pentecost from Fontgombault Abbey

Here is the chant from the Vigil of Pentecost, the Mass of the Day of Pentecost, and Pentecost Vespers.  Very pretty, all a capella; as far as I can tell, this comes from a 1993 CD, which may be a re-release of an earlier recording.

Here's the music list:
Vigile de la Pentecôte

1. Antienne D'Introit  DUM SANCTIFICATUS
4. Antienne d'Offertoire EMITTE
7. Antienne de Communion ULTIMO

Messe du Jour de la Pentecôte

8. Antienne d'Introit SPIRITUS DOMINI
14. Antienne d"Offertoire CONFIRMA HOC
17. Antienne de Communion FACTUS EST

Vepres de la Pentecôte

19.  Antienne DUM COMPLERENTUR et Psaume 109
20.  Antienne SPIRITUS DOMINI et Psaume 110
21.  Antienne REPLETI SUNT et Psaume 111
22   Antienne LOQUEBANTUR et Psaume 112
27.  Antienne HODIE et Cantique MAGNIFICAT

This blurb is from the YouTube page:
Voici une très belle interprétation du chant grégorien (sans accompagnement de l'orgue) et dans la pure tradition de l'abbaye de Solesmes dont Fontgombault est une abbaye-fille de Saint-Pierre de Solesmes. Le ton est parfait et la prononciation latine l'est aussi. Il est à noter comme je l'ai déjà fait dans l'office de Pâques et de l'Assomption que le ton est plus haut que les régions nordiques, belges et espagnoles. Santo Domingo de Silos chante plus bas dû par l'influence du mozarabe.

Cet office de Pentecôte est admirable car le chant du propre et XII et de la III sont difficile à interpréter et d'ailleurs peu connus.

A.G. O.S.B.

Here's a translation:
Here's a beautiful interpretation of Gregorian Chant (without organ accompaniment) and in the pure tradition of the Abbey of Solesmes;  Fontgombault is a daughter-abbey of Saint-Pierre de Solesmes.  The tone is perfect and the Latin pronunciation is, too.  As I've previously noted on the videos of the Offices of Easter and the Assumption, the tone is higher than the Nordic, Belgian and Spanish regions.  Santo Domingo de Silos sings lower because of the Mozarabic influence.

The Pentecost Office is admirable because the chant propers of (Masses) XII and III are difficult to sing and are less well-known.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Pantheon on Pentecost

Who'll be doing this at their parish this year? It's a splendid practice, I think; listen for Veni Creator Spiritus in the background.

From the YouTube page:
Rome, May 23, 2010: Solemnity of Pentecost at the Pantheon; rose petals are dropped from the open oculus at twelve o'clock noon in commemoration of the descent of the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost, the birthday of the Church. As the "dew" falls, the choir chants the sequence Veni Sancte Spiritus!

About the Pantheon:
The Pantheon (/ˈpænθiən/ or US /ˈpænθiɒn/;[1] Latin: Pantheon[nb 1]) is a building in Rome, Italy, commissioned by Marcus Agrippa during the reign of Augustus (27 BC - 14 AD) as a temple to all the gods of ancient Rome, and rebuilt by the emperor Hadrian about 126 AD.[2]

The building is circular with a portico of large granite Corinthian columns (eight in the first rank and two groups of four behind) under a pediment. A rectangular vestibule links the porch to the rotunda, which is under a coffered concrete dome, with a central opening (oculus) to the sky. Almost two thousand years after it was built, the Pantheon's dome is still the world's largest unreinforced concrete dome.[3] The height to the oculus and the diameter of the interior circle are the same, 43.3 metres (142 ft).[4]

It is one of the best-preserved of all Ancient Roman buildings. It has been in continuous use throughout its history, and since the 7th century, the Pantheon has been used as a Roman Catholic church dedicated to "St. Mary and the Martyrs" but informally known as "Santa Maria Rotonda."