Tantum Ergo

Library Montserrat

When I think of the Monastery at Montserrat I tend to think of the famous choir school but the monastery’s library is rarely far behind in my thoughts.

The background of Montserrat Bibioteca comprises about 300,000 monographs, some 6700 periodicals, 1,500 manuscripts, 400 incunabula, 400 old maps and important collections of prints and joys.

Of all the manuscripts out the Red Book, written between the fourteenth and fifteenth with Segel Miscellaneous • Ania a theological and devotional texts, and other geographical aspects, cultural and social. Also include a sheet with a piece of Forum ludicum, it’s a Catalan translation of the twelfth century Visigothic a compilation of laws, one of the earliest known texts in Catalan.

Its funds are specialized in humanities and science, religious history Universal, particularly in medieval Europe, history of Catalonia and the countries Coraona of Aragon and an important collection of works on the Spanish Civil War.

Source: Library of Montserrat – Abbey of Montserrat

Amongst the works they hold is a manuscript containing this anonymous setting of Tantum ergo sacramentum the renowned verse from the hymn in honour of the Blessed Sacrament, Pange lingua gloriosi. It seems to be contemporaneous with Cardoso and is clearly of Iberian origin but other than that I can’t tell you anything about it. In his notes to the piece Owen Rees describes it as ‘exquisite’ and that one word describes it perfectly. Enjoy :-).


Tantum Ergo

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

Therefore so great a sacrament
Let us bow down and venerate:
And may the old lesson
Give way to the new rite:
Faith gives reinforcement
to the weakness of the senses.

Performers: The Choir of Queens’ College, Oxford, conducted by Owen Rees 

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