Saturday, March 31, 2012

He Who Comes

For Western Christians, tomorrow is Palm Sunday, the first day of Holy Week.

At the beginning of Mass, the suggested antiphon echoes the words of the crowds in the Gospel of Matthew 21: 9:

"Hosanna to the Son of David;
blessed is he who comes
in the name of the Lord,
the King of Israel.
Hosanna in the highest"

The Englishman Orlando Gibbons (1583-1625) was one of multiple composers through the centuries to put this verse to music.  For this week's "YouTube clip for a peaceful weekend," here is Chanticleer with that beautiful setting.


Saturday, March 03, 2012

So They Say

This week, I've listened several times to Morten Lauridsen's composition "Dirait-On" from his cycle "Les Chansons Des Roses" ("Songs of Roses"). The French lyrics are from a poem by Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926).

At his website, Lauridsen states that "Dirait-On," "is composed as a tuneful chanson populaire, or folksong, that weaves together two melodic ideas first heard in fragmentary form in preceding movements."

For this week's "YouTube clip for a peaceful weekend," here is this beautiful, enchanting piece.

From here, a non-literal English translation of the lyrics:

"Abandon enveloping abandon,
Tenderness brushing tendernesses,
Who you are sustains you
eternally, so they say;

"Your very being is nourished
by its own enlightened reflection;
so you compose the theme
of Narcissus redeemed."