About the Work:
“O Sapientia" is a work centered around one of the O Antiphons of the advent season and the carol Veni Veni Emmanuel. I was struck by the last stanzas calling for wisdom to bind hearts and minds together in unity and calling for war and strife to cease. At a time where we're inundated by hard-to-swallow news, calls for 'thoughts and prayers', and daily unprecedented events, we find our minds overwhelmed by the immensity of such things.
Interestingly, O Antiphons and the text for Veni Veni Emmanual differ due modifications made to accommodate the hymns or verses within. So while their translations might not be exact, the essence of the each verse was intended to be preserved. The original text for the first verse,
quae ex ore Altissimi prodisti,
attingens a fine usque ad finem,
fortiter suaviter disponensque omnia:
veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiae.
And the text below (Veni, O Sapientia…) are the same verse, but the one below was modified for the hymn.
While the O Antiphons call for a scriptural Messiah of varying types (Wisdom – Sapientia; King of Nations – Rex Gentium), there are hosts of non-liturgical entities we could choose to associate with this instead – a call for wisdom in our nations, a call for world leaders to agree, etc.
A fulfilling performance of this work is one where the truest of hearts, minds, and voices are uniting in communicating a desire for a better world, one away from fighting, corruption, war, and more.
Veni, o sapientia, Come, O Wisdom
quae hic disponis omnia. Which here you distribute to all
Veni, viam prudentiae ut doceas et gloriae. Come, way of prudence and glory that you might teach
Veni Rex Gentium O Come thou Desire of Nations
Veni Redemptor Omnium Bind in one the hearts of all mankind
Ut Salvas tuos famulus Bid every strife and quarrel cease
Peccati sibi conscios And fill the world with Heaven’s peace
Additional translations for verse two
Come, King of Nations
Come, Redeemer to all
To save thy servants
Conscious of their sins
Voicing: SATB with divisi, a cappella
Premiered by The New American Voices, Z. Randall Stroope, conductor
Published by Walton Music (GIA)