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melampus


Member

Posted Mon May 14th, 2007 2:32am Post subject: Latin!
Dear M'Colleagues,

I wonder if any of you lovelies speaks/writes/reads/understands Latin. I mean Latin as in the stuff they speak in churches, not Latin as in Ricky Martin.

The opening track of Rufus Wainwright's record "Want Two" is a prayer of sorts, all very lush and dramatic and sublime, etc. But I haven't got a bloody clue what he's on about. Not that this matters, really -- the music is so gorgeous that a translation is not absolutely necessary. I'm just curious, that's all.

The track is called "Agnus Dei" and it goes a little something like this:

Agnus dei
Qui tollis peccata mundi
Dona nobis pacem.

If this is something head-slappingly obvious, I must apologise -- I am but a poor ignorant heathen, untouched by the Church, who does not understand the gobbledygook spewed forth by the web-based translation-machine-thing.

Thank you!

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joan


Member

Posted Mon May 14th, 2007 4:25am Post subject: Latin!
Lamb of God
Who takes away the sins of the world
Grant us peace

(I think - I'm a bit rusty)

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Betsie


Member

Posted Mon May 14th, 2007 4:39am Post subject: Latin!
Oh goodness, m'colleague, the melody and words are so perfect!! It's like the music keeps soaring upwards, trying to bring hope in hard times. His opera background really shines through. I think he wrote this for a special festival of peace, or charity event. Do you remember, melampus?

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melampus


Member

Posted Mon May 14th, 2007 4:53am Post subject: Latin!
Oh, that's so beautiful, thank you Joan!!!

I am not sure whether he wrote the music for a special event or not; I will do some digging. I must admit that after floating around in my sub-conscious for a few years, Mr Wainwright has only just hit me -- and right between the eyes. Where have I been all these years...? :-//

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melampus


Member

Posted Mon May 14th, 2007 6:57am Post subject: Latin!
Actually, I have to contradict what I said in my first post. Now that I know what the prayer is, the music has even deeper resonance -- especially the Middle Eastern tinge to the instrumentation and the bit towards the end, where he seems to have pinched just a tiny little bit from "Bridge Over Troubled Water'. So clever...

Thanks for the translation. I knew someone on the Fry Forum would know!!!

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Betsie


Member

Posted Mon May 14th, 2007 1:15pm Post subject: Latin!
Mr Wainwright has only just hit me -- and right between the eyes.

Yeah, Rufus is anything but subtle.

And I love the Middle Eastern melodies too. The band Barenaked Ladies has done that in a few songs too. Very nice touch.

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Canzonett


Member

Posted Mon May 14th, 2007 2:18pm Post subject: Latin!
To add a little more information, the "Agnus Dei" is part of the liturgy of the Mass both in the Roman and in the Lutheran tradition. It is sung or spoken just before the communion. See here.

Any decent setting of the Mass (and any decent Requiem) will include an "Agnus Dei" - so you might want to check out some other variants: Bach and Beethoven, Mozart and Schubert, Rossini and Verdi ...

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melampus


Member

Posted Tue May 15th, 2007 2:07am Post subject: Latin!
Thanks Canzonett! I notice Rufus has pronounced things correctly (cc = k, etc).

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ysabella


Member

Posted Tue May 15th, 2007 5:48am Post subject: Latin!
Even Andrew Lloyd Weber's Requiem has an Agnus Dei. It's the only part I liked. Actually, I really like it. At least the copy I have somewhere that has Sarah Brightman singing it, before she picked up that annoying scooping-to-the-note habit. I hate that.

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boffinbabe12


Member

Posted Tue May 15th, 2007 6:39pm Post subject: Latin!
What countries still speak Latin?

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ClareBear


Moderator

Posted Tue May 15th, 2007 6:55pm Post subject: Latin!
None, I believe.

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Soupy Twist


Member

Posted Tue May 15th, 2007 8:44pm Post subject: Latin!
What countries still speak Latin?

Not even the Vatican - official language there is Italian. But when I last was in Rome (1997) and also in the Vatican they still had ATMs that gave instructions in Latin. Apart from that Latin has never been 'official' language of any country. But it was very useful as lingua franca, as a universal language that (erudite) people, no matter where they came from, could understand and converse in. In the academic world Latin was an official language until the 20th century -in fact there are some universities (Munich amongst them, I believe), which theoretically would still accept a doctoral thesis written in Latin.
A very old form of bastardised Latin, Rhaeto-Romanic, is still spoken in some small villages in Switzerland near the Italian border.

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melampus


Member

Posted Wed May 16th, 2007 6:30am Post subject: Latin!
Dear Rufus Wainwright fans,

His album/CD/thingie 'Release the Stars' was indeed released yesterday, which is today in some parts of the world.

I am not sure if there is any Latin on it, though.

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joan


Member

Posted Wed May 16th, 2007 9:31am Post subject: Latin!
I like Latin though - I did 4 years of it at Heckmondwike Grammar school, and even managed to pass my Latin GCE . It was classical Latin though - not church Latin:( it was a state school, not the fee-paying system they have nowadays, nor the Catholic system.)

I loved the connection it gave with the ancient Romans, all those tales of war and mayhem we had to translate, but more importantly, how they lived an almost 20th century lifestyle. I once visited the Vindolanda dig at Hadian's Wall - absolutely fascinating: if they rebuilt it as it was, you could live in the houses in comfort. Mind you, it was so cold there, the soldiers on patrol wore leather underpants - made so strong they survived 1600 years until dug up about 20 years ago.

I've walked on Roman roads too - they were brilliant engineers. Pity they were so warlike and used slaves etc. If they'd had to do their own mundane work, they might have advanced even further - maybe world civilisation would have advanced so far, we'd have reached the stars by now. But religion, greed and the usual suspects made sure that didn't happen.

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Soupy Twist


Member

Posted Wed May 16th, 2007 9:39am Post subject: Latin!
I like Latin though - I did 4 years of it at Heckmondwike Grammar school, and even managed to pass my Latin GCE . It was classical Latin though - not church Latin:(
Which doesn't matter at all. The rules of classical Latin apply to all the manifold styles of medieval Latin, since classical Latin always was the role model. You only have to deal with a vastly broadened vocabulary. With your knowledge of classical Latin and a decent dictionary you should be able to translate Latin from any epoque or context.

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