Thursday, September 18, 2014

Berlioz on the trombone

     "I regard the trombone as the true leader of the race of wind instruments which I have described as 'epic'.  It possesses nobility and grandeur to a high degree and it has all the solemnity of high musical poetry, ranging from a calm, imposing, devotional aura to the wild clamours of an orgy.  It is up to the composer to make it chant like a chorus of priests, or utter threats, then muffled groans, then a subdued funeral knell, then a resounding hymn of glory, then a piercing shriek, then a mighty fanfare for the waking of the dead or the death of the living."

     Hector Berlioz, Grand traité d'instrumentation et d'orchestration modernes (1844; 2nd ed. 1855), trans. Hugh MacDonald (Berlioz's orchestration treatise:  a translation and commentary (Cambridge, England:  Cambridge University Press, 2002), 219).


     "Le trombone est, à mon sens, le véritable chef de cette race d’instruments à vent que j’ai qualifiés d’epiques.  Il possède en effet au suprême degré la noblesse et la grandeur; il a tous les accents graves ou forts de la haute poésie musicale, depuis l’accent religieux, imposant et calme, jusqu’aux clameurs forcenées de l’orgie.  Il dépend du compositeur de le faire tour à tour chanter comme un chœur de prêtres, menacer, gémir sourdement, murmurer un glas funèbre, entonner un hymne de gloire, éclater en horribles cris, ou sonner sa redoubtable fanfare pour le réveil des morts ou la mort des vivants."

     Hector Berlioz, Grand traité d'instrumentation et d'orchestration modernes, ed. Peter Bloom, Hector Berlioz:  New edition of the complete works, ed. Berlioz Centenary Committee, London, in association with the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon, vol. 24 (Kassel:  Bärenreiter, 2003), 309.  Cf. Hector Berlioz, Grand traité d'instrumentation et d'orchestration modernes (1844), nouvelle edition (Paris:  Henry Lemoine & Cie, Editeurs, [1855]), 205.


     "The trombone is,—in my opinion,—the true chief of that race of wind instruments which I have designated as epic instruments.  It possesses in an eminent degree, both nobleness and grandeur; it has all the deep and powerful accents of high musical poetry,—from the religious accent, calm and imposing, to the wild clamours of the orgy.  It depends on the composer to make it by turn chaunt like a choir of priests; threaten, lament, ring a funeral knell, raise a hymn of glory, break forth into frantic cries, or sound its dread flourish to awaken the dead or to doom the living."
     Hector Berlioz, A treatise upon modern instrumentation and orchestration (1844), trans. Mary Cowden Clarke, New (3rd) ed., rev. & corr. (Boston:  Oliver Ditson and Co., [1860]), 156.


"In my opinion, the trombone is the true head of that family of wind instruments which I have named the epic one. It possesses nobility and grandeur to the highest degree; it has all the serious and powerful tones of sublime musical poetry, from religious, calm and imposing accents to savage, orgiastic outburst. Directed by the will of the master, the trombones can chant like a choir of priests, threaten, utter gloomy sighs, a mournful lament, or a bright hymn of glory, they can break forth into awe-inspiring cries and awaken the dead or doom the living with their fearful voices."
     Hector Berlioz, Treatise on instrumentation (1844), enlarged and rev. by Richard Strauss, trans. Theodore Front  (New York:  E. F. Kalmus, 1948), 302.


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Leaf of manuscript at First Free Methodist Church, Seattle

benedicimus ti
bi gloria in secu
la.  ps. Magnt.
Et fit co
memor
Domini
nice prie
Antiph.
Nolite iudi
care ut non iudi

     Leaf of a 16th- or 17th-century Roman Breviary (more strictly an Antiphonal or Antiphonary) opened to Second Vespers, Trinity Sunday.  Fine Center, First Free Methodist Church, Seattle, WA.  (Neither the "text" nor the "author" of this manuscript can therefore be said to be any longer "unknown".)
  • . . . benedicimus tibi gloria in s(a)ecula.  Concluding fragment (or explicit) of the Te deum patrem ingenitum, of which there are examples in Cantus from c. 960, all of them either Antiphons or Responsories, and the vast bulk of them associated with either First or Second Vespers on Trinity Sunday: "Te deum patrem ingenitum te filium unigenitum te spiritum sanctum paraclitum sanctam et individuam trinitatem toto corde et ore confitemur laudamus atque benedicimus tibi gloria in saecula," "Thee God the Father unbegotten, thee the only begotten Son, thee the Holy Ghost the Comforter, holy and undivided Trinity, with all our heart and mouth we confess, praise and bless; to thee be glory for ever" (trans. Margaret Winkworth).
  • ps[almus (a rubric)].  Magn[ifica]t.
  • Et fit com(m)emor[atio] Domininic[a]e pri[ma]e Antiph[ona (a rubric)].  "Then is made a commemoration of the First Sunday [after Pentecost]".  See, for example, First Vespers, Trinity Sunday, in the 1893 Breviary below ("Et fit Commemoratio Dominicæ primæ post Pentecosten, Aña", "Then is made a commemoration of the First Sunday after Pentecost, [with the] Antiphon" Loquere Domine, quia audit servus tuus), though the Antiphon in the case of Second Vespers is Nolite judicare, below.  "the feast [of Pentecost] was kept with an octave from early times" (ODCC, 3rd rev. ed., s.v. "Whitsunday"), and is therefore much older than the feast of the Trinity, which didn't become a feast of the universal Church until 1334, but was at that point (?) assigned to the First Sunday after Pentecost (though the Sundays following continued to be reckoned as "after Pentecost" ("Second Sunday after Pentecost" and so forthrather than "after Trinity" ("First Sunday after Trinity" and so forthin the Roman rite (the Carmelite, Dominican, and Carthusian orders excepteduntil 1969) (ODCC, 3rd rev. ed., s.v. "Trinity Sunday").
  • Nolite iudicare ut non iudi[cemini]:  Mt 7:1, Vulgate, also used frequently as an antiphon (Cantus from c. 980, according to which the Nolite iudicare gets associated with Trinity Sunday (rather than, say, the Fourth or Fifth Sunday after Pentecost) several centuries later than the Te deum patrem ingenitum (1400 and 1501)):  "Judge not, that you be not jud[ged]."
     If this leaf-of-a-manuscript is really from the 16th or 17th century, then the relevant major revisions to the Breviarium Romanum were made in 1568 and 1911, and this 1893 printing of the Breviary (opened to Second Vespers, Trinity Sunday) ought to be roughly what we're looking for.  Note that it makes the Te deum patrem ingenitum the Antiphon to the Magnificat ("Ad Magnif. Aña."), and the Nolite judicare, the Antiphon for the commemoration of the Pentecostal background to Trinity Sunday ("Pro Commem. Dominicæ, Aña.", "For the Commemoration of the [First] Sunday [after Pentecost], [use the] Antiphon" Nolite judicare).  Cf. this 1879 printing of a translation of the pre-1911 Roman Breviary into English, at Second Vespers, Trinity Sunday:  "Antiphon at the Song of the Blessed Virgin.  With all our heart and with all our voice do we acknowledge Thee, praise Thee, and bless Thee, O God the Father the Unbegotten. . . . The following is the Commemoration of the First Sunday after Pentecost.  Antiphon.  Judge not, that ye be not judged. . . . Verse. . . . Answer. . . . Prayer. . . ."

     On pp. 1445-1446 of vol. 2 of The hours of the Divine Office in English and Latin (Collegeville, MN:  The Liturgical Press, 1964), the Te Deum Patrem ingenitum is still the Antiphon to the Magnificat for Second Vespers, but "There is no commemoration of the Sunday."  And in the post-Vatican II Liturgia horarum, there isn't even that, let alone the Nolite judicare, but only the Te Deum Patrem ingenitum in that same position:
Ad Magnificat, ant. Te Deum Patrem ingenitum, te Filium unigenitum, te Spiritum Sanctum Paraclitum, sanctam et individuam Trinitatem, toto corde et ore confitemur, laudamus atque benedicimus: Tibi gloria in sæcula.
Canticle of Mary 
Ant.  With our whole heart and voice we acclaim you, O God; we offer you our praise and worship, unbegotten Father, only-begotten Son, Holy Spirit, constant friend and guide; most holy and undivided Trinity, to you be glory for ever. 

     In conclusion, what First Free Methodist has appears to be the leaf of a Roman Breviary (but given the presence of musical notation, more strictly an Antiphonal or Antiphonary) opened to the middle of Second Vespers, Trinity Sunday.

     I make at present no claims as to authenticity of the artifact itself.  Note, for example, that "Dominic[a]e" is mispelled ("Domini|nic[a]e" being an example of dittography).

     With thanks to Dr. Owen Ewald for his input.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Charles Wright, "A field guide to the birds of the Upper Yaak," Scar tissue: poems (New York : Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2006)

"It cannot be that the people should grow in grace unless they give themselves to reading. A reading people will always be a knowing people. A people who talk too much will know little."

     John Wesley to George Holder.  London, November 8, 1790.  Letters, ed. Telford, vol. 8, p. 247.

"Lighten our darkness, we beseech thee, O Lord; and by thy great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this night; for the love of thy only Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen."

Gelasian sacramentary no. 1589 (mid-8th):

  • Illumina, quaesumus, Domine, tenebras nostras, et totius noctis insidias repelle propitius.  Per.
  • Illumina, quaesumus, Domine, tenebras nostras, et totius noctis insidias tu repelle propitius.  Per.
  • Illumina, quaesumus, Domine, tenebras nostras, et totius noctis insidias tu a nobis repelle propitius.  Per.

Gregorian sacramentary no. 936 (8th), ed. Deschusses (8th):

  • Inlumina quaesumus domine tenebras nostras et totius noctis insidias tu repelle.  Per.
  • [Add the variant readings]

Gallican Bobbio missal no. 565 (8th):  Inlumina qu[aesu]mus domine tenebras nostras et tocius noctis insidiis repelle propicius per

Sarum rite:

     This prayer does not appear in Corpus orationum under either Illumina or Inlumina.