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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“In all this mediaeval religious poetry there is much that we could not use now. Many of the hymns are quite bad, many are frigid compositions containing futile tricks, puns, misinterpreted quotations of Scripture, and twisted concepts, whose only point is their twist. But there is an amazing amount of beautiful poetry that we could still use. If we are to have vernacular hymns at all, why do we not have translations of the old ones?”
— Fr. Adrian Fortescue (d. 1923)

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“Salve Virgo Singularis” • For Three Voices
published 29 June 2016 by Jeff Ostrowski

Y CHOIR IS CURRENTLY learning a five-voice piece with homophonic chords. To complement that, I wanted something with major emphasis on counterpoint, and Rev’d Cristóbal de Morales is magnificent in that department. The text is profoundly powerful, and the English translation doesn’t quite capture the Latin; but no translation could. Something that got lost is the juxtaposition of “ante saecla” with “nunc.” In other words, at Holy Mass we are now adoring the same Christ—Body, Blood, Soul, & Divinity—Who was begotten before the ages in the heart of the Father. What a great mystery! Moreover, the author seemed particularly moved by the relationship between Mary and Jesus.

I have attempted to record all three voices to help choirs learn:

    * *  PDF “Salve Virgo Singularis” (Morales)


REHEARSAL VIDEOS :

EQUAL VOICES : YouTube   •   Mp3 Audio

WOMEN : YouTube   •   Audio

TERTIUS : YouTube   •   Audio

MEN : YouTube   •   Audio

First Translation of the Refrain:

Hail, matchless Maiden,
Maiden biding, God thou bearest.
That begotten ere the ages
from his Father’s heart
let us worship now, created
from his Mother’s flesh.
Sálve Vírgo singuláris:
Vírgo mánens Déum páris,
Ánte saécla generátum
Córde Pátris:
Adorémus nunc creátum
Cárne Mátris.

Second Translation of the Refrain:

Hail Virgin most marvellous
Who, remaining Virgin, bearest God
Begotten before the ages
In the heart of the Father.
Let us adore Him Who took flesh
From the Mother.
Sálve Vírgo singuláris:
Vírgo mánens Déum páris,
Ánte saécla generátum
Córde Pátris:
Adorémus nunc creátum
Cárne Mátris.

The English translation of “Ave Maris Stella” is by Fr. Fortescue (d. 1923), and it’s excellent. I especially like his fifth verse.

By the way, ladies who enjoy singing low would sound nice added to the Tertius line, along with tenors who know how to sing with a “light” sound.