"I have always found this
music to be stunningly beautiful. It has traditionally been used in the
Roman Catholic Church with the Latin Lyrics.
In perusing Catholic hymnals, I find a lot of Protestant Hymns there. So I could not resist the temptation two write English (& Dutch) lyrics for it, making the music available to all Christian Churches. Enjoy!"
Adrian V. Miller
into Dutch by
Adrian V. Miller, from Canada
into PortuguÍs (Brasil) by
Daniel Borges, from Sao Paulo, Brazil
PortuguÍs (Brasil) Translation
Jesus, The Son Of God
Jesus, the Son of God,
came to earth to save the world.
Godís only Son was rebuked and despised.
Though He healed the sick,
forgave sins and showed Godís love,
was tried, found guilty
and condemmed to death.
He was crucified,
suffered hate and scorn.
Yet He asked God to forgive our sins.
Then He died,
was buried in a tomb,
but rose again after three days,
now to live for evermore,
glorified with God in heavín
upon His throne.
Evermore glorified with God in heavín
upon His throne.
HISTORY OF THE MUSIC:
April of 1791, Leopold Hofmann, who was Kapellmeister at St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna, fell gravely ill. Mozart, who had never been an avid composer of sacred music, nonetheless saw an opportunity to enhance his income, and maneuvered to succeed Hofmann. Towards this end, he turned his attentions again to sacred music, culminating ultimately with his Requiem. (As it happens, Hofmann survived Mozart, and died in 1793.)
Mozart set the Eucharistic hymn Ave verum corpus in June 1791. This setting was dedicated to his friend, Anton Stoll, who was chorus master of the parish church in Baden, and it was first performed in Baden at the Feast of Corpus Christi.
It is possible that Mozart set this hymn, mindful of the Imperial ban on elaborate concerted music, or it is possible that he was working with the limitations of Stoll's choir. One way or another, his setting is remarkable for its compact simplicity. There are a mere forty-six bars of music, with orchestral writing that serves to provide introduction, transition, and ending, and double the choral parts. The choral setting is simplicity itself, with the choir mostly singing the same text at the same time. This direct approach would suited a reform-minded Austria where textual clarity and brevity were all-important in church music.
Mozart's setting is far from pedestrian or undistinguished. (It actually isn't even complete; the text below includes the last two verses, which Mozart omitted from his setting.) There is an unusual modulation from D major to F major at the text, "whose side was pierced, whence flowed water and blood,", and the simplicity is the sort that Artur Schnabel famously described as too simple for children and too difficult for adults (after all, simple music like this exposes any lapses of rhythm, intonation, or ensemble). And the music seems to encompass a universe of feeling in forty-six short bars.
truly/suffered/was sacrificed/on/cross/for mankind
Cujus/latus/perforatum/unda/fluxit/et/sanguine: Whose/side/was pierced/from where/water/flowed and blood
Esto/nobis/praegustatum/in/mortis/examine. be /for us/foretaste/in/of death/testing
O Jesu dulcis, o Jesu oie, o Jesu Fili Mariae, miserere mei. Amen
Hail, true Body, born of the virgin Mary,
Who has truly suffered and was sacrificed on the cross for mankind,
whose side was pierced, whence flowed water and blood,
be for us a foretaste of heaven, during our final trial,
o Jesu sweet, o Jesu merciful, o Jesus Son of Mary, have mercy on me. Amen
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New Hope Music
Last updated 2/2/05
visits since 7/20/04