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 lives with his wife and two children.
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“The sun’s disc did not remain immobile. This was not the sparkling of a heavenly body, for it spun round on itself in a mad whirl, when suddenly a clamor was heard from all the people. The sun, whirling, seemed to loosen itself from the firmament and advance threateningly upon the earth as if to crush us with its huge fiery weight. The sensation during those moments was terrible.”
— Dr. Almeida Garrett, professor of natural sciences at the University of Coimbra (1917)

“Salve Festa Dies” • SATB Choral Piece By Canon Jules Van Nuffel (d. 1953)
published 25 February 2015 by Jeff Ostrowski
“One may wish that Venantius Fortunatus’ magnificent processional hymn for Easter, Salve festa dies had survived as a sequence. It is really a pity that room for it was not found in some part of the office.” —Fr. Adrian Fortescue|

230 Salve Festa Dies OU DESIRE a contemporary SATB setting of the Salve Festa Dies for Easter? You love the ancient poem by Fortunatus (†609AD) but require English translations for it? You cannot sing all 60+ verses of the entire hymn? No problem!

Try the one by Msgr. Van Nuffel, who died in 1953:

      * *  PDF • Salve Festa Dies (SATB)

The Soprano line holds the traditional chant melody while the other voices provide modern harmonies, with tons of stepwise motion in the bass. 1

UPDATE A professional recording was made available on 21 March 2015:

    * *  Professional Recording • Salve Festa Dies

In the first verse, the bass section must employ a very light falsetto—otherwise flawless stepwise motion would be impossible. If your basses become perturbed, remind them that contemporary music can be much more demanding than a few falsetto bars!

EXCELLENT LITERAL TRANSLATIONS of the Salve Festa Dies into English can be found here:

      * *  PDF • English Translations

Here’s the Gregorian score as printed in the 2014 CMAA Parish Book of Chant:

      * *  PDF • Score from PBC

Here’s an organ accompaniment to that version:

      * *  PDF • Organ Accompaniment

Here are six (6) more versions of the Salve Festa Dies:

      * *  PDF • Six (6) versions of the Salve Festa Dies

An ancient manuscript with many more verses—transcribed by Dreves & Blume here and here—can be viewed:

      * *  PDF • Ancient Manuscript with additional verses

The NOH version uses a melodic variant of the Salve Festa Dies:

      * *  PDF • Organ Accompaniment with a different melody

Here’s what Dom Guéranger has to say about the Salve Festa Dies:

      * *  PDF • Guéranger speaks of the poem by Fortunatus



1   In 2004, when I first showed the NOH accompaniments by Flor Peeters & Jules Van Nuffel to Fr. Robert Ferguson, FSSP—who is a magnificent organist—he couldn’t get over the walking bass lines. He thought they were absolutely splendid. When I passed by his Oklahoma rectory a few days after our meeting, he opened his door and called out across a field: “Jeff, I still can’t get over that beautiful stepwise motion in the bass!” And he was right!