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thoughts and feels and thoughts and feels
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September 2009
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thoughts and feels and thoughts and feels [userpic]
random gripings

Oh, and choir SUCKED today. Disinformation on a very tricky sightreading, 15 minutes of BAD french, a while more of singing the English translation of a Latin text - I have so many artistic issues with this that it's not even funny (like... I don't think we're meant to be *us* singing about the day of wrath; I think we're supposed to *be* the day of wrath. Also, singing Latin texts in English is possibly one of my least favorite things to do. This may just be because - like the French - I understand nuances in the original that can't be preserved in translation if you want the piece to scan/rhyme. It still pisses me off.) And, to top off the hour, time spent on the 3d movement of the Faure Requiem, in which the altos sing TWO NOTES. And we didn't even GET to the two notes. Only upshot of this - I got to sing the sop. part. I feel funny using the word 'sing' for what I did (though it def. was singing) - to me, 'singing' means 'singing alto', and it was definitely not at all alto-y. The closest approximation I can think of was 'scream', but it *wasn't* screaming and it *was* singing. It was 'playing my vocal chords like I play a horn' or something more like that.

Anyway. I'm sure you care.

::dropkicks a few bits of meeting::

Okay, I should really shower and go to bed. ::shakes fist at early lesson::

Current Mood: a bit chilly
Current Music: Cantique de Jean Racine - Faure

I agree re: translations. Why do the translation when you could do the original?

Shout out to Latin.

Had a gripey day as well.


Because you're DUMB, or because your choir is for some reason illiterate in a language that they've sung in and studied extensively. Seriously - almost all the Latin I've learned, I've learned from singing it (or hearing it sung). And I'm not even Catholic! And I've only ever been to post-Vatican II masses! And they were all in English!
Oh, and from doing Latin roots out the wazoo. Thanks, Mrs. Larkin. ;)

-- And it wasn't just any Latin - it was the Dies Irae.
It. Doesn't. Effing. Translate.
Especially not in any singable way, so a translation meant to be sung is liable to be even MORE off.


Dies Irae: Day(s) of anger? Day of Judgment?


One or t'other.

Full text:
Dies irae, dies illa,
Calamitatis et miseriae,
Dies illa, dies magna
Et amara, amara valde.

Given trnaslation:
Day of judgement, day of trial,
Death and destruction, torment and distress,
Day of anger, day of vengeance,
Day of mourning, of woe and bitter grief.

Which irks me because (1) there are CLEARLY not that many different words in the Latin text, and (2) it requires that you draw the drama from the lyrics rather than the music (and the music is certainly dramatic enough in Latin, but the different rhythms in the translation - as well as the different timbres of the vowels - pretty effectively kill it.)


Yeah, it just says, "Day of anger, that day, of disaster and misery, that day, great day, and the bitter day, very bitter." "Calmaitatis" seems to also have military implications.

Jesus H. Can't get away from Latin for a second.

The ellision in the last line, if it indeed you were to sing it as an ellision, makes it sound rather portentous. To my ears, anyway.


Am not sure about the ellision. Where would it be?


In Latin poetry, if one word ends in a vowel and the next word begins with one, the second vowel is ellided. The other thing, though, is that if a word ends in an m with a vowel before it, and there's a vowel at the beginning of the next word, the m is ellided. But as I have stated before, I don't know how to read this shit very well at all.

As far as I can tell, the "amara amara" would be read amaramara, though I am unclear if that "m" would be ellided as well.

Et amara, amara valde


well, the way the line is written, it could be 'amaramara' but probably not any other way.

Further source of annoyance: Drummond claims that the translation from Cantique de Jean Racine is "a good translation" when in fact it has little or nothing to do with the original text - worse even than the Dies Irae. ::eyeroll::


does he not read french or latin? maybe he's afraid of revealing his ignorance....


well, if he's trying to avoid doing so, he's doing a CRAP job.

Anyway. ::thinks mellow thoughts; goes to sleep::