Tuesday, December 23, 2008

O Magnum Mysterium

I know I've linked to this before, but seeing as it's Christmas time, and that it's my blog, I'm going to link to it again. So there.

I'm not sure that "Carol" describes this piece, but it is a Christmas song. The words (in Latin) are:
O magnum mysterium,
et admirabile sacramentum,
ut animalia viderent Dominum natum,
jacentem in praesepio!
Beata Virgo, cujus viscera
meruerunt portare
Dominum Christum.
Translated into English, this becomes:
O great mystery,
and wonderful sacrament,
that animals should see the new-born Lord,
lying in a manger!
Blessed is the Virgin whose womb
was worthy to bear
Christ the Lord.
The particular setting is by Tomás Luis de Victoria, a Spanish composer who lived in 16th and early 17th centuries. My brother Rick and I actually did this in our high school choir many moons ago, and I've loved it ever since. Sometimes, when I hear music like this, it makes me wonder whether I was born in the wrong century (indoor plumbing notwithstanding). If this were a more rational world, most music would sound this way. ;-)

Anyway, I hope you enjoy.

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