Today's Treat: Alright, hands up! How many remember the wonderfully gnarly and spirited version of Gaudete that the British folk-rock group Steeleye Span recorded in the 70s? Yes, their pronunciation (“Gau-day-tay”) left choral conductors and educators a little, um, exasperated, but it was mind-bending and really crossed all sorts of cultural lines. They recorded it as a processional with a fade-in, fade-out effect: it was so great. You can hear the pronunciation in all its glory in this video from their 35th Anniversary tour.
TEMP is performing Gaudete again at this year's Christmas concert with just enough changes in the arrangement to keep the performers on their toes. Its origin is a little more veiled than the straightforwardness of the recording might suggest. It was published in 1582 in the Piae Cantiones, a collection in Finland of late Medieval songs from about 1430, many of which were Czech traditional songs. The melody is also known as a 15thc.– 16thc. Czech folksong, as a chorale tune in Germany, and was also used as a grace before meals in Martin Luther’s time.
Though the pronunciation and vocal technique will be more in line with historically informed performance, it will still be spirited and raucous (maybe not too gnarly) and, we think, mind-bending!