10 December 2014

Vox ecce clara personat / Vox clara ecce intonat

Now that the busy summer-fall season is over, I am working on a new project; in the course of which, the following composite has been required for the Advent hymn at Lauds, Vox ecce clara personat, AKA Vox clara ecce intonat. The only version found in Lutheran chant books before the Thirty Years War has the modified text, correcting some of the metrical weaknesses that would later be addressed more drastically in 17th c. revisions in the church of Rome (En clara vox redarguit). The text is from Bezelius' Magdeburg cathedral book (1613) and the tune according to its form in Lossius' Psalmodia. Since most translations are based on later or other versions of the text, alteration was necessary in order to produce a faithful rendering of the Latin. I began with Chamber's earliest translation "Lo! what a thrilling voice sounds forth," and utilized some solutions also from Copeland's better-sounding "Hark to the voice, whose thrilling tone," as well as Chambers' revised "Hark! what a thrilling voice invades." Needless to say, nothing was borrowed from the popular "Hark a thrilling voice is sounding" (or "Hark, a herald voice is calling"), despite its wide acceptance, because of its disagreement with the meter.

13 August 2014

Our Father (setting: Grüser)

Here is my adaptation of an Our Father setting (probably for catechetical use) by Valentin Grüser, who may perhaps be the printer Valentin Curio. The source is Pfeilschmidt, Libellus (1605). I give it in the original key (F) and transposed down to D. If you have a solution how to improve the "our trespasses" phrase without accenting "-pass-" please describe in the comments.

 Musical adaptation © 2014 Matthew Carver.

05 August 2014

In fremd Herberg ich bin gewest

Here is my translation of the Purification hymn “In fremd Herberg ich bin gewest” (N. Selneccer), an interpolation of the Canticle of Simeon the Patriarch from Luke 2 (Nunc dimittis). Based on the meter and tune of “Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin,” it is not meant to replace Luther’s indispensible hymn so much as to offer another application of both text and tune.

FROM home estranged, in lodgings rude
My flesh abideth,
In prison bound—yet for my good
God provideth;
Ever in this cart I’ve roamed
Throughout my life so lowly.

2. Now, Lord my God, in grace and love
From bondage bring me
Unto my home, and so remove
Sins that sting me;
Loose me from the cart’s dull yoke,
To dwell in freedom ever.

3. I am Thy servant, this I know;
Free, Lord, now send me;
So by Thy gracious pledge and vow
Thou wilt tend me:
Thou hast given me Thy Son;
In Him I am delivered.

4. With seeing heart I have beheld
Him, my Salvation,
In whom Thou givest to the world
Of Thy gracious will toward all
By faith in Him confiding.

5. Him Thou hast set forth as a Light
All men to lighten—
The world entire in heathen night
All to brighten;
And as Israel’s joy and bliss!—
Through Him we have salvation.

Translation © 2014 Matthew Carver

1. In fremd Herberg [Herbrig] ich bin gewestvom Vaterlande,im Gfängnis steckt, doch mir zum Best,wies Gott wandte,Im Karrn ich gezogen habdurch mein ganz elend Leben.
2. Nu Herr mein Gott, ins Vaterlandaus kalter Herberg,und aus des Kerkers Sünd und Schandgnädig führe mich;spann mich aus des Karrens Jochund laß mich nu frei bleiben.
3. Dein Diener bin ich, das weiß ich,frei laß mich fahren,wie du durch dein Zusagung michtust bewahren.Dein Sohn du mir geben hast,in ihm bin ich frei worden.
4. Meins Herzens Augen haben ihnmein Heil gesehenden du für alle Welt gabst hin,draus zu sehen,daß du wollest gnädig seinallen die auf ihn trauen.
5. Du hast ihn allen fürgestelltein Licht zu leuchtenden Heiden, und der ganzen Welt,auch zu Freudenund Preis deins Volks Israel;durch ihn wir selig werden.

26 July 2014

Mundi secuta lubrica

Here is my translation of the hymn “Mundi secuta lubrica” (G. Fabricius), for the feast of St. Mary Magdalene. By the example of St. Mary Magdalene, we are consoled in the forgiveness offered and and by Jesus, who freely forgave Mary despite her many sins, when she repented the same, and showed by her actions her faith toward Him who alone has the power to offer such forgiveness and to save from eternal death. The melody is a variant of one of the most common (in many regional forms) assigned for the hymns of later authorship in Reformation cantionals.

SHE who the world’s brief joys pursued,
And flesh’s passions, vile and crude,
In grief a sighing suppliant bowed
To praise the very Son of God.

2. Not daring there to lift her face,
But in the dust with silent grace
She bent, with tears to bathe His feet,
And wipe them with her tresses sweet.

3. To God her heart within her cried,
And faith was deeply stirred inside
Tow’rd Him who tenderly doth own
And not deplore the mourner’s groan.

4. In Christ as God, confiding yet,
Her every hope she firmly set;
Th’ unrighteous to the Righteous prayed,
From sin was loosed, and righteous made.

5. Thee, Christ, we ask with humble plea
To pardon our iniquity;
The Father sent Thee, us to save
And not to lose us to the grave. Amen.

Translation © 2014 Matthew Carver.
1. Mundi secuta lubrica Blandaeque carnis noxia, Dolendo suspirans Dei Supplex adorat Filium.  
2. Non ausa vultum tollere, Humi recumbit cernua, Pedes rigavit fletibus,Tersitque muta crinibus.  
3. Cor clamat intus ad Deum, Fidesque pulsat intimum, Non abjicit suspiria, Deus pie gementium. 
4. Quae plurimam,_in Jesu Deo, Confisa, spem locaverat, Injusta Justum deprecans, Fit justa, crimen tollitur.  
5. Te, Christe, nostra vox rogat, Remitte, quod peccavimus, Servare nos, non perdere, Tuo_a Parente missus es. Amen.

08 July 2014

Herr, was sind das für Wunden

Here is my translation of the hymn “Herr, was sind das für Wunden” (Gregor Ritzsch, 1622). It is titled “A Spiritual Song on the tokens of Christ’s love, from the Prophet Zechariah 13:6.” The appointed melody is that of “O Christe Morgensterne,” which I give here in two specimens: the earlier tune in Gesius’ cantional of 1605; the newer tune in Witt’s choralbuch, 1731 (which though unknown to Ritzsch, has a very suitable character). (See Fischer I, 440.; Kümmerle II, 456–8.)

“O LORD, of wounds what manner
Are these Thy hands that mar?”
—“Your sins and your dishonor
Have made Me many a scar;
And these the tokens are.”

2. —“But Lord, I thought we ever
Have been Thy people dear,
And did Thee ev’ry favor,
And never once while here
Made Thee to shed a tear.”

3. —”What answer may I offer?
My friends whom I loved true
Required Me thus to suffer:
The wounds upon Me view
Were not they wrought by you?”

4. —”Alas, what cause for mourning
Sweet Jesus Christ, my Lord,
Are all Thy wounds and scorning
Which we did Thee afford
Whom Thou hast e’er adored!”

5. —“Yea, ye have Me afflicted
And caused me toil and hell;
Ye sinned; I was convicted,
Your sinning to dispel.
Then mark these tokens well.”

6. —”All praise, O Lord be giv’n Thee,
For all Thy grief and pain;
Thy love it was hath driv’n Thee
For us such stripes to gain;
All glory Thine remain. Amen.”

Translation © 2014 Matthew Carver.

1. Herr, was sind das für Wunden
in deinen Händen zart?
“Das haben eure Sünden
Gemacht, daß ich so hart
und sehr geschlagen ward.”

2. Dacht ich doch, Herr, wir wären
als deine lieben Leut,
die dic stets täten Ehren
und dir zu keiner Zeit
zufügten einig Leid.

3. “Ich kann nicht anders sagen:
Im Haus der Lieben mein
bin ich also geschlagen.
Seht an die Striemen mein,
ob sie nicht von euch sein?”

4. Ach das ist zu beweinen,
Süsser Herr Jesu Christ,
daß du so von den Deinen,
die du liebst jeder Frist,
verwundt und gschlagen bist.

5. “Ja, mir habt ihr Arbeite
und große Muh gemacht:
für ewre Sünd ich leide,
daß der nicht werd gedacht.
Solchs nehmt in gute Acht.”

6. Lob sei dir, Herr, gesungen
für alle Schmerzen dein,
daß dich dein Lieb gezwungen
für uns in solche Pein:
Ehr sei dem Namen dein, Amen.