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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Much of the beauty of the older forms was lost and the hymns did not really become classical. We have reason to hope that the present reform of the breviary will also give us back the old form of the hymns. But meanwhile it seems necessary to keep the later text. This is the one best known, it is given in all hymnbooks and is still the only authorized form. Only in one case have we printed the older text of a hymn, number 57, “Urbs Jerusalem.” The modern form of this begins: “Caelestis urbs Jerusalem.” But in this case the people who changed it in the seventeenth century did not even keep its metre; so the later version cannot be sung to the old, exceedingly beautiful tune.
— Fr. Adrian Fortescue (1913)

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Brébeuf Hymnal • “Behind the Scenes”
published 22 July 2018 by Jeff Ostrowski

4713 • HYMNAL COVER • The St. Jean de Brébeuf Hymnal HAT HAS GARNERED attention for the Brébeuf Hymnal has been our inclusion of contemporary material by distinguished composers and poets. Many hymns were commissioned specifically for the Brébeuf Hymnal.

But the Brébeuf Hymnal has so much more.

For example, this book contains ancient English hymn translations never before revealed. 1 For obvious reasons, the committee does not want the research tables released—but I have obtained permission to share a brief example with you:

    * *  PDF EXAMPLE of a “Research Chart”

Notice how the Roman Catholic translation from 1598AD closely matches the literal translation:

88163 Brebeuf Hymnal SNEAK PEEK


Creating a metrical translation like that—which was designed to be sung to the same plainsong melody as the Latin version—is incredibly difficult. I will provide more information about the brave Catholic who created that translation another day.

Very soon, the Brébeuf Hymnal will be sent off for final proofreading. The work of half a decade—finally!—has entered the final stages of production.  Laus Deo!



NOTES FROM THIS ARTICLE:

1   Much of what we’ve discovered cannot be placed in the book because there simply isn’t enough room. This is rather frustrating, because the research tables with which I was involved required hours of painstaking work to create. However, at the end of the day, we only included that which was the most excellent—nothing but the very best.