Vox Humana Posted October 1, 2016 Share Posted October 1, 2016 Please excuse this rather off-topic query, but this is the most sensible place I know to ask and those with choirs might perhaps be mildly interested.Balfour Gardiner’s Evening Hymn was published with both English and Latin texts underlaid. The Latin is the ancient Compline hymn Te lucis ante terminum and the English a rhyming translation of this. The anthem is almost invariably sung in Latin, which is odd as the music was obviously framed expressly for the English words. The Latin is a poor fit. Compare the accents on termiNUM and posciMUS with the way that ‘day’ and ‘pray’ help the music forward; ditto the corresponding points in verse 3, where you can throw in ‘reign’ as well. In the second verse the harmonic word-painting fits ‘terrify’, not somnia. There are other similar instances. Throughout the anthem the English text fits like a glove; the traditional Latin looks like it was shoehorned in, presumably to allow the anthem to be performed by Catholic choirs. (It wouldn’t be the only anthem printed in both English and Latin with this aim.) ‘Grove’ tells me that Evening Hymn was composed in 1908. I’m not even sure whether Latin was acceptable in C of E services at that date.* The English must have originated as an alternative to the Latin, but where did it come from? In perusing old hymnals I have come across a few translations of Te lucis ante terminum, but not this one and I have not found it anywhere else either. Was it written especially for the anthem?* Stanford's three Latin motets were originally non-liturgical; I don't know the background to Wood's Latin motets. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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