Monday, November 26, 2012

Monteverdi Monday – Psalm 122

Psalm 122: Laetatus Sum (a sei voci)

In addition to inventing opera, Claudio Monteverdi wrote a bunch of madrigals and a whole lot of sacred music. While initially, there was a stylistic difference, his sacred and secular works started to sound more and more alike. This is an excerpt from Monteverdi's Vespro della Beata Vergine, also known as his Vespers of 1610 (which I believe is when the set was first published.) Vespers is an evening worship service that consists mainly of psalms. Monteverdi's choral settings are still in a somewhat older style, with lots of polyphony, and in between are "concerti" or settings for one or more voices, that are much more operatic. Although he does let the operatic style sneak into the choral bits, too.
Psalm 122 is a happy psalm. And this is happy music. If you think of church music as slow, lugubrious, and solemn, then think again. Each choral setting is based on a Gregorian chant tone, and here you can hear the tenor singing the chant tone right at the beginning  After that, there are no holds barred, though the chant does return now and then in other voices. The rest of it sounds pretty jazzy. 
Jazzy is one word that comes to mind when I listen (and watch) L'Arpeggiata. And they seem to be having a lot of fun. too. I have always loved this music, and I am used to hearing it sung by a much larger choir. With one to a part as performed by L'Arpeggiata, it feels brand new and never fails to make me smile! This is another studio video, in which we get to see what goes on behind the microphones. 
Psalm 122: Laetatus Sum (a sei voci)
English Translation:
I was glad in this, when it was said to me:
Let us go into the house of the Lord.
Our feet will stand within your entrance, Jerusalem;
Jerusalem, which is built like a city
Which is compact together.
For there the tribes will ascend,
The tribes of the Lord, of the testimony of Israel,
To give thanks to the name of the Lord.
For there will be placed thrones of judgment,
The thrones over the house of David.
Pray that Jerusalem be at peace,
And that there be abundance for those who love you.
May there be peace in your strength,
And abundance in your towers.
For my brothers and my neighbors’ sake
I will ask for peace for you.
For the sake of the house of the Lord my God
I have sought good things for you.
Glory to the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
As it was in the beginning, now,
And forever, in the age to come. Amen.

Update: 10/23/2013: the clip of Psalm 122 is no longer available, but here is an audio recording of the entire vespers:

Laetatus sum in his, quae dicta sunt mihi: In domum Domini íbimus.  Stantes erant pedes nostri in atriis tuis, Jerusalem;  Jerusalem, quae aedificatur ut civitas,  cuius participatio ejus in idipsum.  Illuc enim ascenderunt tribus,  tribus Domini, testimonium Israel,  ad confitendum nomini Domini.  Quia illic sederunt sedes in judicio,  sedes super domum David.  Rogate quae ad pacem sunt Jerusalem et abundantia diligentibus te.  Fiat pax in virtute tua  et abundantia in turribus tuis.  Propter fratres meos et proximos meos  loquebar pacem de te.  Propter domum Domini Dei mei quaesivi bona tibi,  Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto, Sicut erat in principio, et nunc,  et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are very welcome! They won't be moderated; but rude, abusive, and/or radically off-topic posts will be removed.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...