Wednesday, March 31, 2010

This Gives Me Goose Bumps: Auditui meo dabis gaudium et laetitiam.



Classical Net's article states:
"Allegri's masterpiece was written sometime before 1638 for the annual celebration of the matins during Holy Week (the Easter celebration). Twice during that week, on Wednesday and Friday, the service would start at 3AM when 27 candles were extinguished one at a time until but one remained burning. According to reports, the pope would participate in these services. Allegri composed his setting of the Miserere for the very end of the first lesson of these Tenebrae services. At the final candle, the pope would kneel before the altar and pray while the Miserere was sung, culminating the service."


Hearing that at 3 a.m. would be sooooo cool.

Translation:
Psalm 51 (KJV)

Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.

Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.

For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.
Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.

Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.

Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.

Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.

Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

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

Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.

Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.

Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.

O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.

For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem.

Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar.


Or follow along with the choir:
Miserere mei, Deus: secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum, dēlē iniquitatem meam.
Amplius lavā me ab iniquitate mea: et peccato meo mundā me.
Quoniam iniquitatem meam ego cognōscō: et peccatum meum contra me est semper.
Tibi soli peccāvī, et malum coram te fēcī: ut justificeris in sermonibus tuis, et vincās cum judicaris.
Ecce enim in inquitatibus conceptus sum: et in peccatis concepit me mater mea.
Ecce enim veritatem dilexisti: incerta et occulta sapientiae tuae manifestasti mihi.
Asperges me, Domine, hyssopo, et mundābor: lavābis me, et super nivem dēalbābor.
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 tuam.
Quoniam si voluisses sacrificium, dedissem utique: holocaustis non delectaberis.
Sacrificium Deo spiritus contribulatus: cor contritum, et humiliatum, Deus, non despicies.
Benigne fac, Domine, in bona voluntate tua Sion: ut aedificentur muri Jerusalem.
Tunc acceptabis sacrificium justitiae, oblationes, et holocausta: tunc imponent super altare tuum vitulos.

Psalm 51 was one of the appointed readings in our lectionary earlier this week, something I discovered after I had composed this post a couple of weeks ago. I had been listening to this piece in the car (on a CD) and was haunted by the sounds, the words I could not understand, but when I looked it up, it chilled me to the core.

Miserere mei, Deus: secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum, dēlē iniquitatem meam.

Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.

Amplius lavā me ab iniquitate mea: et peccato meo mundā me.

Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.

Forgive me Lord for denying You.

3 comments:

  1. Pewster, that is still not the whole story of this piece. The music was considered so sacred when Allegri wrote it for the Pope's special choir of castrati in the Sistine Chapel, that it was forbidden for anyone to perform it anywhere else, or to try to copy the score.

    But all that mystery changed when the child genius Mozart came through Rome with his father during Holy Week, and they heard the piece performed in the Sistine Chapel. Read the rest of the story at this link.

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  2. Thanks A.S.,

    I have been told that before, and I remember that person said that, because of the young Mozart's amazing auditory memory, he was able to write down the score later.

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  3. Thanks for this.

    Cheers.

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