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 Church, no doubt, has always kept, and wishes still to maintain everywhere, the language of her Liturgy; and, before the sad and violent changes of the sixteenth century, this eloquent and effective symbol of unity of faith and communion of the faithful was, as you know, cherished in England not less than elsewhere. But this has never been regarded by the Holy See as incompatible with the use of popular hymns in the language of each country. Such hymns, moreover, are useful to familiarize the people with the great truths of faith, and to keep alive their devotion.”
— LEO XIII, POPE (8 June 1898)

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Hymn by Professor at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary
published 30 October 2017 by Jeff Ostrowski

ONSIGNOR Ronald Knox (d. 1957) translated six verses of “Ave Vivens Hostia”—and the full version will be included in the St. Jean de Brébeuf Hymnal. The original hymn (by Iohannes Pecham, Archbishop of Canturbury, who died in 1292AD) has fifteen verses, and was discussed during the 2017 Sacred Music Symposium. The choir sang the Knox version, conducted by Dr. Alfred Calabrese.

A different translation was made by Msgr. H. T. Henry (d. 1946), who taught Gregorian chant at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Overbrook, Pennsylvania: 1

    * *  PDF Download • SCORE (Latin, Literal English, and Rhyming English)

I declare to you: No microphone can capture choral sound.

Consider the rehearsal video we recorded yesterday:


REHEARSAL VIDEOS for each individual voice await you at #4148.


It’s okay, but let me assure you it’s absolutely nothing compared to what I heard when it was sung at the 2017 Symposium. I sat in front while Dr. Calabrese was conducting, and I was (quite literally) shaking. I’d never heard anything so beautiful. I came close to tears—the sounds were out of this world.

For the second time: No microphone can capture choral sound.

Now listen to a recording from the 2017 Symposium, using the version by Msgr. Ronald Knox. What comes through on the microphone doesn’t come close to an accurate reproduction of the choral sound:

    * *  Mp3 File • “Live” Version (30 June 2017)

A third time I proclaim: No microphone can capture choral sound.



NOTES FROM THIS ARTICLE:

1   Read the literal translation at the top of the score (by Fr. Valentine Young, OFM) and notice how skillfully Msgr. Henry matches the meaning. Bravo!