August 20, 2014

Bernard's Song per Dante

In celebration of the feast of Bernard of Clairvaux, here is a rehearsal tape of the Hymn to the Virgin from the Celestial Rose, from Dante's Paradiso, Canto XXXIII. I composed this for St Luke in the Fields back in the 80s, for performance in Advent. I made a tape of the rehearsal, but the recorder died during the actual liturgy. Still, it gives an idea of what I was after. Bill Entriken is the organist, and the cellist is from the St Luke's Chamber Orchestra.

Bernard 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...)

Pardon the poor quality of the tape.

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG

MP3 File

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