Friday, December 31, 2010

Some Interpretations of Mozarabic Chant

The blogs of Sacrificium Laudis and Fr. Ray Blake drew my attention to some video productions that have been put together about Mozarabic chant, using recordings of the same as interpeted by Marcel Peres and Ensemble Organum -- which recordings many will no doubt already be aware of.

The videos are well produced.

The first I would like to share is the recording of the Hymnus Trium Puerorum. (See an image of this chant from a Mozarabic Missal) Readers of the series on the Mozarabic rite that I have been working on may recall mention of this chant.

On Sundays and Feast days, the "Hymnus Trium Puerorum" or Benedicite (an abridged form of the Canticle of the Three Youths from the Book of Daniel) was sung. Historically speaking, W.C. Bishop notes that the Benedicite was to be required at all Masses by the fourth Council of Toledo in A.D. 633, but that "its use was by no means constant and appears to have been subject to much variation." (The Mozarabic and Ambrosian Rites: Four Essays in Comparative Liturgiology, "The Mass in Spain", p. 23) Archdale King further notes that the Missale itself would seem to restrict its use to the first Sunday of Lent and the Feast of St. James.

The Gloria:

The Inlatio (or preface) and Sanctus:

Of course, other recordings exist of Mozarabic chant, giving different interpretations of the chant. For example, here is a recording of the Inlatio again, this time by the monks of Santo Domingo de Silos -- the sound of which will be much more familiar to many.

Back to the interpretation of Ensemble Organum, I cannot help but share this Alleluia sequence.

Listen to more Mozarabic chant:

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For more articles, see the NLM archives: