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Does anyone have a ready made translation of the Bruckner "Locus iste" that
bears some recognisable relationship to the Latin original? (I've seen one
that doesn't.) It doesn't have to be immensely poetic - it's simply to
ensure my choir understand what they are singing.
Alternatively if it can be found on ChoralNet, please give me detailed
directions - I'm only learning how to find my way about there!
Many thanks
Peter Gilmour
Auckland, New Zealand
on February 21, 1999 10:05pm
Peter Gilmour wrote in message
>Does anyone have a ready made translation of the Bruckner "Locus iste" that
>bears some recognisable relationship to the Latin original? [snip]

"Locus iste a Deo factus est - inaestimabile sacramentum - irreprehensibilis
est" Almost every word here is of arguable meaning, and my copy doesn't
even make it clear what the punctuation (if any) should be where I have
shown dashes.

It is from the Mass for the Consecration of a Church, and is presumably
related to the Biblical story of Jacob's dream (Genesis 28), where God
promises to Jacob "I will not leave thee". The Latin scripture then reads:
"Quam terribilis est, inquit, locus iste: non est hic aliud nisi domus Dei
et porta caeli - How awesome is this place, he said: this is none other than
the house of God and the gateway of heaven".

"Iste" here probably means "that one near to you, the one for which you are
responsible". "Sacramentum" is (in classical Latin) a legal undertaking.
"Reprehendere" is "pull back, seize again what has been given"; so
"irreprehensibilis" presumably means "that cannot be taken back".

A possible version might be: "God has made this place of yours into a pledge
beyond price, which he will never take back from you". But CD inserts offer
wildly different interpretations. I suggest you ask the choir to bear in
mind Jacob's words just quoted and let that colour their singing.

By the way, what tempo do you adopt for this piece? My impression is that
most conductors take it much more slowly than Bruckner seems to indicate.

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