Friday, August 28, 2015

The Carthusian Salve Regina

I just happened to stumble across this recording of the Salve Regina sung by monks of the Grande Chartreuse, the mother house of the Carthusian Order. It is accompanied by a number of pictures, including several stills from the famous movie Into Great Silence; the last minute and a half seems to be the soundtrack of one of the best parts of the film, when the monks go sledding. Note that there are a few differences from the text of the Roman version; it begins “Salve, Regina misericordiae, vitae dulcedo - Hail, Queen of Mercy, the sweetness of life,” and the word “Virgo” is omitted at the end. Note also the slowness and simplicity of the chant, even though this is the more solemn version of the Salve Regina, typical of the austerity of Carthusian life in all of its aspects.

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