Music Picks: Samuel Barber, Agnus Dei (Adagio for Strings)

March 2, 2000
Is this one of the most exquisite pieces of music ever composed? No I will not go that far. It is performed here by a respected choir – The Trinity College Choir of Cambridge University. Not bad, but then again being around seven centuries there is the danger that some of the finer traditions of choral music get  passed on.
This choral version of Agnus Dei is sublimely worked into Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings. The Choir is conducted by Richard Marlow.
The original music scored for instruments is no less memorable.
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Music Picks: Ry Cooder, Maria Elena

March 2, 2000

It doesn’t take much to like Cooder’s music, and stick with it. How many years now? Nearing forty …


Music Picks: Palestrina Stabat Mater

March 2, 2000
Stabat mater dolorosa
juxta Crucem lacrimosa,
dum pendebat Filius.

Cuyus animam gementem,
contristatam et dolentem,
pertransivit gladius.

O quam tristis et afflicta
fuit illa benedicta
Mater Unigeniti.

Quae moerebat et dolebat,
Pia Mater cum videbat
Nati poenas incliti.

Quis est homo qui non fleret,
Matrem Christi si videret
in tanto supplicio?

Quis non posset contristari,
Christi Matrem contemplari
dolentem cum Filio?

Pro peccatis suae gentis
vidit Jesum in tormentis
et flagellis subditum.

Vidit suum dulcem natum
moriendo desolatum,
dum emisit spiritum.

Eia Mater, fons amoris,
me sentire vim doloris
fac, ut tecum lugeam.

Fac ut ardeat cor meum
in amando Christum Deum,
ut sibi complaceam.

Sancta mater, istud agas,
crucifixi fige plagas
cordi meo valide.

Tui nati vulnerati,
tam dignati pro me pati,
poenas mecum divide.

Fac me tecum pie flere,
crucifixo condolere,
donec ego vixero.

Iuxta crucem tecum stare,
et me tibi sociare
in planctu desidero.

Virgo virginum praeclara,
mihi iam non sis amara:
fac me tecum plangere.

Fac ut portem Christi mortem,
passionis fac consortem,
et plagas recolere.

Fac me plagis vulnerari,
fac me cruce inebriari,
et cruore Filii.

Flammis ne urar succensus
per te Virgo, sim defensus
in die judicii

Christe, cum sit hinc exire,
da per matrem me venire
ad palmam victoriae.

Quando corpus morietur,
fac ut animae donetur
Paradisi gloria.

Amen.

At the cross her station keeping,
Stood the mournful Mother weeping,
Close to Jesus to the last.

Through her heart, His sorrow sharing,
All His bitter anguish bearing,
Now at length the sword had pass’d.

Oh, how sad and sore distress’d
Was that Mother highly blest
Of the sole-begotten One!

Christ above in torment hangs;
She beneath beholds the pangs
Of her dying glorious Son.

Is there one who would not weep,
Whelm’d in miseries so deep
Christ’s dear Mother to behold?

Can the human heart refrain
From partaking in her pain,
In that Mother’s pain untold?

Bruis’d, derided, curs’d, defil’d,
She beheld her tender child
All with bloody scourges rent.

For the sins of His own nation,
Saw Him hang in desolation,
Till His spirit forth He sent.

O thou Mother! fount of love!
Touch my spirit from above;
Make my heart with thine accord.

Make me feel as thou hast felt;
Make my soul to glow and melt
With the love of Christ our Lord.

Holy Mother! pierce me through;
In my heart each wound renew
Of my Saviour crucified.

Let me share with thee His pain,
Who for all my sins was slain,
Who for me in torments died.

Let me mingle tears with thee,
Mourning Him who mourn’d for me,
All the days that I may live.

By the cross with thee to stay,
There with thee to weep and pray,
Is all I ask of thee to give.

Virgin of all virgins best,
Listen to my fond request
Let me share thy grief divine.

Let me, to my latest breath,
In my body bear the death
Of that dying Son of thine.

Wounded with His every wound,
Steep my soul till it hath swoon’d
In His very blood away.

Be to me, O Virgin, nigh,
Lest in flames I burn and die,
In His awful Judgment day.

Christ, when Thou shalt call me hence,
Be Thy Mother my defence,
Be Thy cross my victory.

While my body here decays,
May my soul Thy goodness praise,
Safe in Paradise with Thee.

Amen.


Music Picks: G Händel, Sarabande

March 2, 2000
Exquisite movie but every time I watch it – as the first time – I notice that O’Neal’s acting is so off the mark as to make we wonder why Kubrick stuck with him. However the music compensates and the lushness of the photography adequately. After sevens sittings I am still mystified why I come back for more.

Music Picks: G Allegeri, Miserere mei Deus

March 2, 2000
Gregorio Allegri – Miserere Mei, Deus
Uploaded by Neo_Deus_Ex_Machina

style="letter-spacing: 0;">Psalm 50 in Latin

Miserere mei, Deus, secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum, dele iniquitatem mean.
Amplius lava me ab iniquitate mea: et a peccato meo munda me.
Quoniam iniquitatem mean ego cognosco: et peccatum meum contra me est semper.
Tibi soli peccavi et malum, coram te feci: ut justificeris in sermonibus tuis, et vincas cum judicaris.
Ecce enim in iniquitatibus conceptus sum : et in peccatis concepit me mater mea.
Ecce enim veritatem dilexisti : incerta et occula sapientiae tuae manifestasti mihi.
Asperges me hyssopo, et mundabor : lavabis me, et super nivem dealbabor.
Auditui meo dabis gaudium et laetitiam, et exsultabunt ossa humiliata.
Averte faciem tuam a peccatis meis : et omnes iniquitates meas dele.
Cor mundum crea in me, Deus : et spiritum rectum innova in visceribus meis.
Ne projicias me a facie tua : et spiritum sanctum tuum ne auferas a me.
Redde mihi laetitiam salutaris tui : et spiritu principali confirma me.
Docebo iniquos vias tuas : et impii ad te convertentur.
Libera me de sanguinibus, Deus, Deus salutis meae : et exsultabit lingua mea justitiam tuam.
Domine, labia mea aperies : et os meum annuntiabit laudem tuan.
Quoniam si voluisses sacrificium, dedissem utique : holocaustis non dedectaberis.
Sacrificium Deo spiritus contribulatus : cor contritum et humiliatum, Deus, non despicies.
Benigne fac, Domine, in bona voluntate tua Sion : ut ædificentur muri Jerusalem.
Tunc acceptabis sacrificium justitiae, oblationes et holocausta: tunc imiponent super altare tuum

English from the Douay-Rheims Bible:

Have mercy on me, O God, according to thy great mercy.

And according to the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my iniquity.

Wash me yet more from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.

For I know my iniquity, and my sin is always before me.

To thee only have I sinned, and have done evil before thee:

that thou mayst be justified in thy words and mayst

overcome when thou art judged.

For behold I was conceived in iniquities;

and in sins did my mother conceive me.

For behold thou hast loved truth:

the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.

Thou shalt sprinkle me with hyssop, and I shall be cleansed:

thou shalt wash me, and I shall be made whiter than snow.

To my hearing thou shalt give joy and gladness:

and the bones that have been humbled shall rejoice.

Turn away thy face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.

Create a clean heart in me, O God: and renew a right spirit within my bowels.

Cast me not away from thy face; and take not thy holy spirit from me.

Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation, and strengthen me with a perfect spirit.

I will teach the unjust thy ways: and the wicked shall be converted to thee.

Deliver me from blood, O God, thou God of my salvation:

and my tongue shall extol thy justice.

O Lord, thou wilt open my lips: and my mouth shall declare thy praise.

For if thou hadst desired sacrifice, I would indeed have given it:

with burnt offerings thou wilt not be delighted.

A sacrifice to God is an afflicted spirit:

a contrite and humbled heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

Deal favourably, O Lord, in thy good will with Sion;

that the walls of Jerusalem may be built up.

Then shalt thou accept the sacrifice of justice,

oblations and whole burnt offerings:

then shall they lay calves upon thy altar.



Music Picks: Songs and lyrics Ian Tyson, Four Strong Winds

February 19, 2000

Ian Tyson, Four Strong Winds, with Sylvia Tyson

Four strong winds that blow lonely, Seven seas that run high,

All these things that don’t change, Come what may.
But our good times are all gone,
And I’m bound for moving on.
I’ll look for you if I’m ever back this way.
Think I’ll go out to Alberta,
Weather’s good there in the fall.
Got some friends that I can go to working for,
Still I wish you’d change your mind
If I asked you one more time,
But we’ve been through that a hundred times or more.

If I get there before the snow flies,
And if things are going good,
You could meet me if I send you down the fare.
But if you wait until it’s winter,
It will be no good
‘Cause that wind sure can blow way out there.


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