05 August 2008

Random Music: "Ubi Caritas" by The Christ Church Cathedral Choir, Indianapolis and "Ave Maria" by The Trinity Choir, Boston

I sang in a formal choir of one flavor or another pretty much non-stop from my sophomore year of high school in 1987 until I left The Consort (formerly The Charles County Community Consort) in 2005. In those eighteen years, I have performed a countless number of choral pieces. I do have my favorites. The two that I'm showcasing today are my most favorite. They are both sacred choral arrangements and both are performed a cappella. Call me a choral snob, but that's just the way I prefer my choral music.

The first is a four-part composition for SATB choir titled Ubi Caritas by Maurice Duruflé. This is the first song for which I look when I am feeling troubled to my soul. The words are as follows:
Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est.
Congregavit nos in unum Christi amor.
Exsultemus et in ipso jucundemur.
Timeamus et ameamus Deum vivum.
Et ex corde diligamus nos sincero.
Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est. Amen.
And the translation is as follows:
Where there is charity and love, God is there.
Love brings us together in one Christ.
We therefore rejoice in it.
Let us fear and love the living God.
And from the heart let us devote ourselves with sincerity.
Where there is charity and love, God is there. Amen.

Ubi Caritas - The Christ Church Cathedral Choir


The second is a seven-part composition for SAATTBB choir, bass voice solo and tenor voice solo, titled Ave Maria by Franz Biebl. The song begins with the bass solo, followed by the choir which sings as two separate choirs - the male voices begin the chorus and the female voices reply. Two tenor solos act as the verses of the song. The song hits its crescendo in the final "chorus", with the first tenors and the first sopranos vocally reaching toward the heavens, carrying the prayer to the Blessed Virgin.

The words to this piece are among the most sacred in the Catholic faith. In The Consort, we always referred to singing this piece as "reading from the holy Biebl". Yes, it is that powerfully written that I just performed blasphemy. Yes, it should bring a tear to your eye. And, yes, this is my favorite of favorites of all the choral music I have ever performed. The words are as follows:
Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariae
Et concepit de Spiritu sancto.

Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum.
Benedicta tu in mulieribus,
Et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Jesus.

Maria dixit: Ecce ancilla Domini.
Fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum.

Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum.
Benedicta tu in mulieribus,
Et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Jesus.

Et Verbum caro factum est
Et habitavit in nobis.

Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum.
Benedicta tu in mulieribus,
Et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Jesus.

Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus,
Sancta Maria, ora pro nobis, nunc et in hora mortis nostrae.
Amen.
And the translation is as follows:
The angel of God visited Maria
And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you.
Blessed are you among women,
And blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.

Maria said: See the servant of the Lord.
May it happen to me according to your word.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you.
Blessed are you among women,
And blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.

And the Word became flesh
And lived among us.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you.
Blessed are you among women,
And blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners,
Holy Mary, pray for us now and in the hour of our death.
Amen.

Ave Maria - The Trinity Choir, Boston

1 comment:

Basilio Q Bocalan Jr said...

I remember a time when this kind of music would put me to sleep...now it just makes me catch my breath and even feel like I should be repenting! -lol

I love the selections...goosebumps baby!