About this blogger:
A theorist, organist, and conductor, Jeff Ostrowski holds his B.M. in Music Theory from the University of Kansas (2004), and did graduate work in Musicology. He serves as choirmaster for the new FSSP parish in Los Angeles, where he resides with his wife and children.
Connect on Facebook:
Connect on Twitter:
Tournemire could be charming or he could bite your head off. One day I could not replace him at St. Clotilde because I had a wedding to play at another church. Tournemire played on Sunday, period—that was all. He did not play weddings and so forth. (He put all that on my back.) So I went to Tournemire’s house to tell him, “Master, I am sorry but, for once, I cannot replace you. I have another obligation to fulfill.” He said, “Get out of here!” I left for good.
— Testimony of Maurice Duruflé

“Veni Veni Emmanuel” • Original Setting (Two Voices)
published 16 December 2015 by Jeff Ostrowski

HEN THE FAMOUS hymn “Veni Veni Emmanuel” first appeared in the 1850s, it was claimed that its tune was ancient. However, as time went on, many wondered if the melody had actually been composed in the 19th century. In the 1960s, Mother Thomas More—a student of Nadia Boulanger—discovered that the melody was indeed ancient, going back to the 15th century (or earlier).

Here’s the authentic hymn, which was written for two voices:

You can learn this version (PDF) with the help of these rehearsal videos:

EQUAL VOICES : YouTube   •   Mp3 Audio

PRIMUS : YouTube   •   Audio

SECUNDUS : YouTube   •   Audio

THE TUNE IS QUITE ANCIENT, but in those days it was used during Masses for the Dead. It was a “trope” (poetic extension) for the Responsory Libera Me. As you can see by this 15th century manuscript, it flows beautifully back into the Responsory:

The ancient text was “Bone Jesu dulcis cunctis.”