Monday, 3 December 2012

Advent Music

I notice that several bloggers have already commented on chants for Advent, notably Leutgeb (Bara Brith) on the chants generally, Fr. Ray Blake on Mass XVII, and Lawrence England (Bones) on the hymn Veni Emmanuel. The chants for this season are particularly beautiful, and seem to reflect very aptly the anticipation of the coming of Christ, which Advent recalls.

I hoe that Mr. England will not be offended if I graciously suggest he is, in fact,  a little early liturgically, Veni Emmanuel being based on the Great 'O' Antiphons, which properly belong to Vespers of the latter days of Advent, starting on 17th. December with O Sapientia.

This does, of course, give me chance to post on a couple of chants proper to the whole of Advent. First, the office hymn for Vespers, Creator Alme Siderum - here is a nice version by the choir of the Carmelite Priory, London:-

It is possible that you might also come across the more archaic version of this hymn, Conditor Alme Siderum , which is preserved in some usages, notably the offices of the Dominican Order. Here is a version from Blackfriars Oxford:-

The hymn is followed by the opening versicle of Rorate, Caeli ; here is the full version:-

Ye Heavens, drop down from above, and let the the clouds rain down the Just One!

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