EFFREY OSTROWSKI, the rather idiosyncratic president of our association, often claims to be “grief-stricken” when readers fail to explore the rehearsal videos for each individual voice provided free of charge at the Brébeuf hymnal website. I suspect he’s being hyperbolic, but I would agree that these rehearsal videos are an invaluable tool. Sometimes, the voice you hear on the individual tracks belongs to yours truly! Yesterday everning, I was pleased to assist with the ALTO TRACK. My friend, Claire Coulombe, provided the SOPRANO TRACK. The hymn is found at #710 in the Brébeuf hymnal. It’s an ancient text for Pentecost called Qui procédis ab utróque. The English translation (using an astonishingly elaborate rhyme-scheme) was composed by MONSIGNOR RONALD KNOX, the famous polyglot theologian.
Here’s what we came up with:
More About This Text • Most of the Brébeuf hymns are in English, but the original Latin is provided alongside a literal translation. Examining the text, we observe the meter of the translation by Knox is identical to the one in Latin. Therefore, it would be quite simple to interchange them, and I would urge Mr. Ostrowski to consider doing precisely that, for his “Brébeuf extension series.” I know my children would appreciate learning this tune! (Since our family is bilingual, they have no difficulty whatsoever with Latin.) According to the Brébeuf hymnal, both text and melody were written by Adam of Saint Victor (d. 1146AD) a prolific composer of hymns and sequences. There is a plain-chant version (PDF), with a more somber character than the Brébeuf melody.
Organ Accompaniment? • Our organization is by far the leader when it comes to obtaining, scanning, and uploading rare Catholic treasures of sacred music. As my daughter plays the keyboard, I wondered if there were a book of organ accompaniments that contained Qui Procédis Ab Utróque. Sure enough, our organization had provided that! It’s in a 99-page collection of accompaniments by Henri Potiron, who was a professor at the Gregorian Institute in Paris:
* PDF • CANTUS SELECTI + CANTUS VARII, Potiron Accomp. (99 pages)
—Accompagnement du Chant Grégorien pour les Bénédictions du Très Saint Sacrement (1934).
Protestants Use This Tune • According to the Brébeuf hymnal, the metrical tune is called: Alles Ist An Gottes Segen. Research reveals that Protestant books use this melody for feasts other than Pentecost. For example, I see that a 1913 hymnal by GEORGE RATCLIFFE WOODWARD (d. 1934) uses that sprightly tune for a Passion-tide hymn. That doesn’t seem quite right to my ear:
Magnificent Capital “Q” • This ancient Sequence, used in some countries on Thursday during the Pentecost octave, can be seen in many ancient manuscripts. Here is one from the 13th century, which certainly has the most beautiful capital “Q” I have ever seen: