A brilliant Dawn earlier with the entire range of reds...

Although now-- at 0814-- we are covered by grey skies. It is the feast of the great bishop of Milan, Ambrose (CE, Introibo, Wiki); the Te Deum at Matins seemed particularly appropriate. Am not sure what is going on with the diffusion of Holy Mass at Saint-Eugène this morning; there is nothing on the 'upcoming livestreams' page. Canon Guelfucci was yesterday explaining about practical things for part of his homily (I think) so perhaps there was an announcement that I missed. 

Dr Cocci is presenting the Advent hymn Conditor alme siderum at the Neumz 'Advent calendar' today: which hymn's authorship is of course traditionally attributed to St Ambrose (as is the Te Deum'the Ambrosian hymn', hence my 'particularly appropriate' supra). 

There is a livestreamed recital from Wigmore Hall at 1130 by soprano Fatma Said, accompanied by Joseph Middleton. Songs of Mozart, Brahms, Schubert, Strauss, Sibelius, Fauré et alii (and one of Clara Schumann: her version of Goethe's Das Veilchen as well as Mozart's). It looks like RAI Radio 3 is livestreaming the 'gala concert' from La Scala at 1100 or 1130; a lot of names-- Juan Diego Florez, Jonas Kaufmann, Sonya Yoncheva, Marianne Crebassa, Aleksandra Kurzak, Piotr Beczala, Kristine Opolais, Lisette Oropesa, Elena Garanča et alii. I never seem to have much luck actually turning RAI on at the right time so we shall see. Time for Terce and breakfast.


Ante Sextam. Alas! Fatma Said and Thomas Hampson are singing both at the same time-- although he is performing Mahler's Kindertotenlieder at the Staatsoper in Munich. First time I've seen Krzysztof Urbanski at the podium live. 

Now, almost an hour later, it's actually time for Sext. The La Scala gala is about to get started (I think); I had to play with the VPN in order to hear this (it is some cooperative effort between RAI and a group of the European states). But, Sext.


Was interested to recall that the texts of the Advent hymn Conditor alme siderum differ between the Roman Rite and the Benedictine Use thereof in the fifth strophe or stanza. I am typing this so the usual accents are missing. The Benedictine Use, at Jouques, e.g., and in the Farnborough Diurnale, reads thus:

Te, deprecamur, Hagie,

venture judex saeculi,

conserva nos in tempore

hostis a telo perfidi. 

The Roman books give us the following-- the difference is quite small:

Te, Sancte, fide quaesumus,

venture judex saeculi,

conserva nos in tempore

hostis a telo perfidi.

The most striking difference is that the post-conciliar Roman Rite uses the Latin Sancte to replace the Benedictine Use's Greek Hagie. There was, in the revision of the hymns used in the Liturgy, a prejudice against the retention of any Greek words or Graecisms, which I find an incomprehensible prejudice particularly in view of the fact that almost immediately after the publication of the new Latin hymns, a vast swathe of the Roman Church effectively eliminated the use of Latin from its liturgies. 

The Roman version has Te fide quaesumus, we beseech Thee, and the Benedictine Te deprecamur, which at a superficial level means that both versions are expressing the same pious hope, making the same pious request. In fact, though, the word is a form of the deponent verb deprecor meaning 'to avert, ward off (from one's self or others) by earnest prayer; to deprecate; also, to pray, to intercede for the averting of any evil, or to obtain pardon for any transgression'-- it has a much 'stronger' sense and is rooted in the ancient Roman religious customs; quaerere, which is 'to seek, to try to obtain' and which in the post-conciliar 'reforms' of the Sacred Liturgy is much more frequently used, concomitantly with the decline of the practice of the Faith and the abandonment of the Liturgy (but of course post hoc propter hoc is a logical fallacy, so far as logic goes) is fine so far as it goes but is also a verb you can use to ask for half a dozen chops at the butcher's.

Pope Urban VIII, Maffeo Barberini, was a classicist and took it into his head to revise the hymns of the Liturgy (ca 1629) to make their texts more conformable to the classical Latin forms; rectification of this... misstep was a good consequence of the post-conciliar liturgical messing about. The fifth stanza of Conditor alme siderum (well, of Creator alme siderum) prior to its post-conciliar version:

Te deprecamur ultimae

magnum diei Judicem,

armis supernae gratiae

defende nos ab hostibus.

I am not enough of a classicist to know what of that Urban VIII thought superior to the ancient version. Time for None, half an hour ago.