Sunday, March 14, 2010

Rose-colored music

Today was Laetare Sunday which is kind of a break in Lent. The priest gets to wear rose-colored vestments as the Pope is seen doing in that picture. The Mass today had the words "Laudate Dominum." It comes from an old Hebrew psalm. Many of the most beautiful prayers from the Mass come from psalms.

That makes me think of the Mozart "Laudate Dominum." It is one long and sustained aria and he throws in this Mahler harmony that I find thrilling. There is this video with pictures and a translation. In the video the harmony that gives me a buzz comes at 2:53.

A phrase I love is "in saecula saeculorum." It means "World without end." You hear it all the time at Mass. The priest is always wrapping up prayers by saying, "In saecula saeculorum." And then you say, "Amen."

I love that phrase but for the life of me, even having taken three years of Latin, I do not know how it works out into meaning "world without end." That is something to ponder while listening to "Laudate Dominum."

You never quite shake the recording you grew up with. The "Laudate Dominum" I grew up with was on Nonesuch with Teresa Stich-Randall. I have never heard of Cristina Piccardi, the singer in the video I just linked to, but I like her. Even though the tempo is a bit brisk for me. I know, fussy, fussy, fussy!

Here is Joshua Bell playing it on the violin.


  1. I sent you an email link about "In saecula saeculorum".

  2. Mary, Mary--Saecula=ages, eons; Saeculorum=of ages or eons. So "per omnia saecula saeculorum" is "through eons of eons." Think "month of Sundays" kind of thing. Hugs.

  3. Prof. G and Anonymous, I would never have figured this out on my own. I was kind of on track .. I was thinking "time of times..." but I had not thought of "eons." Anyway, Deo gratias! And gratias to both of you too.