March 25, 2010

Hymn to the Virgin

Hymn to the Virgin from the Celestial Rose, from Dante's Paradiso, Canto XXXIII. Saint Bernard of Clairvaux sings:

«Vergine Madre, figlia del tuo figlio,
umile e alta più che creatura,
termine fisso d’etterno consiglio,

tu se’ colei che l’umana natura
nobilitasti sì, che ’l suo fattore
non disdegnò di farsi sua fattura.

Nel ventre tuo si raccese l’amore,
per lo cui caldo ne l’etterna pace
così è germinato questo fiore.

Virgin Mother, daughter of you Son,
Humble and high beyond creature,
Fixed limit of the eternal counsel,

You are she who so ennobled human nature
that the Creator did not disdain
to make of it his maker.

Within your womb was rekindled
the love by whose heat, in eternal peace,
thus was germinated this flower.

(The Flower is the celestial rose which is constituted from the company of saints themselves...)

This was recorded in rehearsal, the only recording I have, sadly. Sung by the Choir of St Luke in the Fields, with the cellist of the St Luke's Chamber Ensemble. William Entriken, Organist.

Pardon the poor quality of the tape.

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG

MP3 File

The sheet music is available at Scribd.


susan s. said...

It's lovely in spite of the tape. Is this yours? You have it written out somewhere? As LOLkatz would say I can has one?

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG said...

Thanks, Susan. Yes, it is mine. I have the ms. somewhere and will have to find it. I can scan it, and perhaps post a link at some point to a pdf.

Originally we planned to record the actual performance -- but the tape recorder broke, so all I have was the rehearsal version! Sung in the choir room, yet! It gives an idea, but I'm sure the actual performance was much better.

June Butler said...

The hymn is lovely. Perhaps a choir will sing it again somewhere, sometime, and you can get a better quality recording.

Perhaps Susan's choir?

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG said...

Thanks, Mimi. Susan, I've just posted the sheet music with a link in the blog post, at Scribd. Enjoy!

The cello part is optional, though I love that sound. This was written for St Luke's when, during reconstruction after the devastating fire, we worshipped in the school gym, and had only a tiny (bu lovely) 4-stop portativ organ -- no pedal at all; so the cello filled in the pedal line in the organ part, written up to be a bit more "cello-y"!