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.
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The soul is distracted from that which is sung by a chant that is employed for the purpose of giving pleasure. But if the singer chant for the sake of devotion, he pays more attention to what he says, both because he lingers more thereon, and because, as Augustine remarks (Confess. x, 33), “each affection of our spirit, according to its variety, has its own appropriate measure in the voice, and singing, by some hidden correspondence wherewith it is stirred.” The same applies to the hearers, for even if some of them understand not what is sung, yet they understand why it is sung, namely, for God's glory: and this is enough to arouse their devotion.
— St. Thomas Aquinas

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“Creator Alme Siderum” (Guerrero)
published 7 December 2017 by Jeff Ostrowski

UR READERS are undoubtedly familiar with the ancient Advent hymn: Creátor alme síderum. The original title was Cónditor alme síderum, but four Jesuits working for Pope Urban VIII (d. 1644) wrecked most of the Breviary hymns—causing endless confusion. Correct accentuation is crucial since CÓNDITOR means “maker” whereas CONDÍTOR means “pickler.”

The famous tune can be played on this Woofer Guitar:


Before you listen to the full version by Guerrero, explore the Tenor and Soprano only:


Do you see the beautiful counterpoint with just two voices? In real life, one hears clearly the different vocal sections, and the counterpoint sounds awesome. In a YouTube version, however, the voices sound “flattened.”

I couldn’t resist recording it, even though my voice singing all the parts never sounds quite right:

    * *  PDF Download • “Cónditor alme síderum”


REHEARSAL VIDEOS :

EQUAL VOICES : YouTube   •   Mp3 Audio

SOPRANO : YouTube   •   Audio

ALTO : YouTube   •   Audio

TENOR : YouTube   •   Audio

BASS : YouTube   •   Audio


The tempo could probably be slightly slower, but I don’t recommend taking it so slowly that the plainsong in the Soprano line becomes difficult to recognize.