Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Lauda Sion

Does anyone know a versified English version of this sequence? It seems a shame to recite the sequence at the main Mass, and the Gregorian Chant is beyond what our choir are able (or willing) to do. On Sunday, a reader objected to even reading the shorter version, on account of its 'archaic language'.

10 comments:

gemoftheocean said...

Try this link. Whether or not the translation/versification is the best or not, I can't judge.

As for "Archaic language" remind the reader that "so is the Our Father." People expect elevated language at church. It's expected to be more formal. In fact, the introduction to my New American Bible [which we use for the Mass readings in the US] says as much. I'm surprised your reader objected! Get another reader next time!

Ttony said...

Persuade your reader that you have enjoyed his contribution to date : "you have delighted us long enough"; and find somebody who will sing it as a solo.

Anonymous said...

The text given in the British/Irish/etc lectionary for Mass has the metre 88.88.88.88.

Well known tunes are STELLA (Hail Queen of Heav'n); VENI EMMANUEL (O Come, O Come, Emmanuel - OK not really suitable); SUNSET (Sweet Saviours bless us e'er we go - hymn for compline).

These melodies might be too "heavy" for all the stanzas, but surely not the last three 8-line stanzas?

Pastor in Valle said...

Thanks, Anon; that's useful.

William said...

Huh? Are we using the same lectionary? The metre isn't 88.88.88.88 (which wouldn't fit with the original anyway), it's 888.888 - except for verses 10 & 11: the metre varies towards the end, as noted in my previous post (not yet published!)

Stella, Veni etc. are 88.88.88, but if you try singing 888.888 text to them, it'll sound silly. Seriously, try it. The syllables may fit, but it makes a mess of both the rhyme and the sense. Anybody who's actually paying attention to the words, as opposed to just singing whatever's stuck in front of them, will at once know that something's wrong.

Pastor in Valle said...

Hm: you've depressed me, William, because actually you've found what I had always thought myself. What I was hoping for was a setting that uses a common metre (not CM I mean) throughout. When I saw Anon's confident answer, I thought I must be wrong, and have not had the opportunity to try it out. I suppose we're back to the drawing board. 'Richard' sent me these links, but I haven't tried them through:
http://www.preces-latinae.org/thesaurus/Hymni/LaudaSion.html
http://www.cpdl.org/wiki/index.php/Lauda_Sion_Salvatorem

William said...

Sorry to depress you, Father! I don't know if my earlier post went astray, but in it I pointed out that the main problem is the variability in the metre (six-line verses to start with, then eight- and finally ten-line). In a translation like that in Richard's CPDL link (trochaic 887.887) the first 9 verses will happily go to the tune of Stabat Mater - though I concede that that may be too strongly associated in people's minds with Passiontide. (There are other tunes, but probably less well-known.) The question is what to do with the longer final stanzas? You can repeat certain lines of the tune, but you'll need to have a well-briefed choir otherwise it'll go belly-up. Or just stick with the first 9 verses and ignore the metrically awkward final 3.

Or even … we've got an entire year (actually more, given the date of Easter) to make our own metrically usable translation. It can't be that hard!

CLARE said...

We sang the Ecce Panis Angelorum on Sunday at St Mary Magdalen's, Brighton. It wasn't difficult to learn.

We did cheat though and use the modern notation transcribed by The music Makers. The square note would have taken too long to learn.

Cerimoniere said...

The English Hymnal, No. 317, has a version set to the chant. It begins:
"Laud, O Sion, thy salavation,
Laud with hymns of exultation,
Christ the King and Shepherd true."

I'm not sure if it's still in the NEH. The chant melody has an unusually large range, which can be challenging for congregational singing; and for amateur scholas too!

Ttony said...

There is a bit of discussion here on the subject.

He also links here to a document from the Liturgy Office at Eccleston Square which lists the core musical repertoire which it says it intends to be comprehensive: these are the texts which every parish in the country should be able to sing.

And it's not bad at all.