New Video Release: Pange Lingua

New Video Release: Pange Lingua

In anticipation of our 2021-22 Season, we are releasing a new recording every other Friday for your enjoyment. Today we present Pange Lingua, composed by Tomás Luis de Victoria and recorded in May 2021 at Comber Hall, Church of the Little Flower in Coral Gables, FL. Find out more about the composition below:

When Tomás Luis de Victoria was born in Avila, Spain, in 1548, Charles V ruled Spain as Holy Roman Emperor. Spain’s influence was at its apex, and Charles V, lover of the arts, kept a musical establishment that would rival any through time. The Capilla Flamenca, recognized as the 16th-century world’s greatest choir, was in residence at Charles V’s Spanish court, and the institution employed the greatest composers of the age. None of those composers, however, was Spanish. Tradition had kept the Capilla Flamenca populated solely by those of Franco-Flemish heritage.

It was in this atmosphere that a young Victoria would make his way to Rome to seek his future in music, coming under the influence of Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, whose style Victoria would emulate, and whose position as preeminent Catholic composer Victoria would succeed. Victoria’s Pange Lingua setting, one of two, this one on the tune used in procession in Spain, is a simple yet brilliant set of theme and variations on a gorgeous, lilting melody. Here the Seraphic Fire soprani intone the tune a cappella and unadorned, followed by successively more intense and passionate choral verses.


Pange Lingua

Pange lingua “more hispano”

Pange lingua gloriosi
corporis mysterium,
Sanguinisque pretiosi
quem in mundi pretium,
fructus ventris generosi,
rex effudit gentium.

Novis datus, nobis natus
ex intacta virgine,
Et in mundo conversatus,
Sparso verbi semini:
Sui moras incolatus
miro clausit ordine.

In supremae nocte coenae
recumbens cum fratribus,
Observata lege plene
cibis in legalibus:
cibum turbae duodenae
se dat suis manibus.

Verbum caro, panem verum,
Verbo carnem efficit,
Fitque sanguis Christi merum:
Et, si sensus deficit,
Ad firmandum cor sincerum
Sola fides sufficit.

Tantum ergo sacramentum
Veneremur cernui:
Et antiquum documentum
Novo cedat ritui.
Praestet fides supplementum
Sensuum defectui.

Genitori Genitoque
Laus et iubilatio,
Salus, honor, virtus quoque
Sit et benedictio:
Procedenti ab utroque
compar sit laudatio.

Tomás Luis de Victoria (1548–1611)

Sing, O tongue,
of the mystery of the glorious Body
and of the precious Blood,
which as ransom of the world,
the King of all people,
fruit of a noble womb, poured forth.

Born for us, given to us,
from the pure Virgin,
and residing in our world,
He has sown the seed of the Word,
ending his sojourn
with a miracle.

In the night of that supreme feast,
reclining with his brethren,
He has observed the obligations
of that lawful meal:
now with his own hands
He gives himself to his twelve companions.

With a word, the Word made
flesh is true bread
and the blood of Christ is wine:
and, if our senses
fail to comprehend,
faith alone will suffice.

Let us venerate the Sacrament
with bowed head,
and may the ancient rules
give way to new rites.
May faith supplement
the defects of our senses.

To the Father and his Son
be praise and jubilation,
homage, honour, virtue
and all blessings:
and to him who proceeds from both,
let equal praise be given.

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