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and him in the London Oxford Cambridge triangle!

GUEST,leeneia 07 Aug 13 - 04:54 PM
McGrath of Harlow 07 Aug 13 - 06:57 PM
GUEST,leeneia 07 Aug 13 - 08:17 PM
GUEST,leeneia 08 Aug 13 - 01:52 AM
GUEST,Grishka 12 Aug 13 - 01:07 PM
GUEST,Grishka 12 Aug 13 - 01:34 PM
GUEST,Grishka 13 Aug 13 - 06:52 AM
GUEST,leeneia 13 Aug 13 - 02:24 PM
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Subject: Origins: and him in the Londn Oxfrd Cam triangle!
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 07 Aug 13 - 04:54 PM

This Sunday at 7:30 I'll be singing Schubert's Mass in G at the Lutheran Church of the Resurrection in Shawnee Mission Kansas. We are also singing 'Verleih uns Frieden,' by Mendelssohn with English words supplied by John Rutter, editor of 'European Sacred Music,' Oxford University Press, 1996.

John Rutter has been said by an actual' Catter to be a very nice person. He may be, but he's the arranger I love to hate, mostly because he writes alto parts that seem to require a machine. But never mind that; just keep in mind that the guy irritates me.

I found I couldn't get the piece learned, so I made my own copy with Noteworthy Composer. I put the English lyrics where I could see them better and got rid of Rutter's lightweight italic font. Yet I just couldn't get these two lines:

Thou art alone our sword and shield,
Lord who dost guide the nations.

Finally I realized that my Inner Poet was cringing every time I sang that because it's grammatically wrong. It should be 'doth,' not 'dost.' To make sure, I composed some parallel sentences in my head.

Keep in mind that we say 'He doth' but 'Thou dost.' Modern forms are "He does' and 'You do.'

You are the only doctor who guides the interns.
You are the person who gets grape jelly on the carpet.
Thou art the One who doth guide us.

Notice that in the relative clause the second person (you are) changes to third person 'guides, gets'. Similarly, in the hymn, 'dost' should change to 'doth.'

In the choir, 20 other people are cheerfully singing 'dost,' and I've decided not to say anything. They're suburbanites, and they don't know. However, I can't have all my banjo-plucking friends nudging one another and saying "Leeneia doesn't even know how to conjugate second and third-person familiar verbs!"

I've come up with a solution I can live with. I just sing 'duh..."

For some really good music (cheap) with choir and chamber orchestra, come on over. Sunday at 7:30. There might even be cookies after.


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Subject: RE: Origins: and him in the Londn Oxfrd Cam triangle!
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 07 Aug 13 - 06:57 PM

Dost is really a shortened form of doest, the regular form, as with words like livest or givest.

The pedants are revolting...


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Subject: RE: Origins: and him in the Londn Oxfrd Cam triangle!
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 07 Aug 13 - 08:17 PM

Good one, McGrath!


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Subject: RE: Origins: and him in the Londn Oxfrd Cam triangle!
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 08 Aug 13 - 01:52 AM

Being in the choir and doing these challenging pieces has made me realize what an intellectual effort it is. It's clear that most others in the choir have done these pieces before. They are sailing along, while I'm concentrating on every note.

When we get it together, the results are glorious - beautiful, energized and complex. But that complexity demands that the music be right, be regular, be clear - in fact, that it follow rigid rules.

Every time I come to that wrong expression, I get a sensation as if a small area of my gray matter, say 1 teaspoon of it, is shrinking in on itself, fighting off the input. That interferes with my concentration on the sound.

I have a friend who is a very talented pianist. She can sit down and read off the most complicated music you can imagine. But when an amateur composer gave her a hand-written MS, she couldn't deal with it. She depends on neatness, precision, straight lines - in a word, on geometry to read music. It's a similar thing.


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Subject: RE: Origins: and him in the Londn Oxfrd Cam triangle!
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 12 Aug 13 - 01:07 PM

Singing in a choir is certainly a very rewarding challenge at whatever level of difficulty and perfection one chooses. Mendelssohn was more at ease with instruments than with voices when it came to artistic expression, but his craftsmanship was flawless in all genres.

Neither do I find a grammatical fault in Mr. Rutter's lyrics (whereas in the original text by Luther, the treatment of double negation is no longer accepted by pedants nowadays). You seem to think of the meaning
Thou art alone our sword and shield, Lord, which do guide the nations.
This would be quite a questionable statement, in my opinion. A sword can help us fight, a shield can protect us (when held by an experienced fighter), but these two tasks are not sufficient to guide the nations, not even in military dictatorships. May the Lord do it Himself.

To speed up learning vocal parts, I have recently lost all reluctance to resort to software. I am using "VanBasco's Karaoke Player" and/or "VocisMagis", which both work with MIDI files.


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Subject: RE: Origins: and him in the Londn Oxfrd Cam triangle!
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 12 Aug 13 - 01:34 PM

"Dost" contd.:

If the idea is that "thou ... who" (or "you ... who") always takes the third person, I am not quite convinced either. In "you are the one who ...", "the one" becomes the actor, so the third person is mandatory. But would you say "You, who do all the work, should be rewarded!" or "You, who does all the work, should be rewarded!"? The former is Rutton's understanding, and seems more natural to me as well, but native speakers should vote. I would never say "I, who does all the work, ...", mainly because I refuse to do all the work anyway.


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Subject: RE: Origins: and him in the Londn Oxfrd Cam
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 13 Aug 13 - 06:52 AM

More web research about "who" referring to the first or second person:

The Romance languages have no difficulty at all with this construction: "Pater noster, qui es in caelis".

The KJB followed literally: "Our Father which art in heaven" (later: "... who ..."). (German does not allow it at all; the closest workaround used to be "Vater unser, der Du bist im Himmel" - the pronoun "Du" is required.)

That English usage seems to have been considered more and more archaic, but (- thus -) still suitable for sacred lyrics like John Rutton's. At last, some 20th century North American versions had indeed "Our Father who is in heaven". It makes me cringe though, in my European-Latin mindset.

Nowadays most denominations just say "Our father in heaven", also in German and other Germanic languages. Peace on earth as it is in heaven, about this particular phrase.

Still, there is an originally Italian pop song, with very successful 1963 US American lyrics "I who have nothing, I who am no one". Its use of grammar is only occasionally challenged in web discussion in favour of "... has ..., ... is ..." by colleagues of your Inner Poet.

The discussion goes on; peace seems to amount to avoiding the case whenever possible, and almost peaceful coexistence otherwise.


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Subject: RE: Origins: and him in the Londn Oxfrd Cam triangle!
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 13 Aug 13 - 02:24 PM

Well, we did it, and it was well received. I had a fan club of three, and they all said they were glad they came.

There were 21 singers, seven of them sopranos, and most of them trained. At times I felt it didn't matter what I did, but I did my best anyway.

At the last moment, our beloved pianist was replaced by a string orchestra of maybe 8 people. After the precision of the piano, singing with them was like singing with a giant accordion. Also, we had only three tenors, and all three of them were singing their utmost right in my ears. What with the added pressures, I found myself singing, 'who doth' whether I wanted to or not.

The strings particularly wanted the Credo speeded up. Of course, this is the piece with the most special effects and the most unfamiliar Latin. But I have a tool for dealing with things like that. It's a pencil. When it gets too complicated, I write 'don't sing' on certain passages. A vertical line tells me when it's safe to resume. When practicing, the Credo dismayed me at first, but it turned out to be great to sing. Esp. with the pencil in play.

Our director was young, kind, very patient, and red-haired. To say thank you, I made her a necklace of sparkly glass beads colored turquoise and copper. Occasionally the copper-colored beads flash purple. You couldn't ask for better colors for a redhead. She liked it so much, she put it right on and wore it for the concert. It flashed rays of light beautifully in the dim light of the sanctuary.

After the physicists explain how the madly whizzing droplets left over from a storm make the organized form of the rainbow, they can try to figure out why beads flash more in soft light than in brilliant light.

I wore my biggest, brightest, nouveau riche* CZ earrings. I was channeling Elly Ameling, the Dutch soprano. We saw her perform once, wearing a lovely, light blue formal dress and diamond earrings which flashed light all over the municipal auditorium. Being Dutch, she was no doubt proud of the diamond cutters of Amsterdam. I thought if it worked for her, it might work for me.

*$6.99 at Target, marked down from $27.99


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