Tag Archives: Tenet Vocal Artists

I’m so glad I took high school Latin.


TENET – Robert Fayrfax -Missa Tecum Principium, based on the chant “In the day of Thy strength”.

Text follows:

Maria plena virtute from Seven Last Words from the Cross (votive antiphon)

composed by Robert Fayrfax (1464-1521)

performed by Tenet Vocal Artists. St. Ignatius of Antioch, West End Avenue, 87th Street, October 23, 2021

Maria plena virtute pietatis gratiae, mater misericordiae, tu nos ab hoste protege. Clementissima Maria, vitae per merita compassionis tuae pro nobis preces effunde, et de peccatis meis erue. Sicut tuus Filius petiit pro crucifigentibus, “Pater dimitte ignorantibus”, magna pietate pendens in latronibus, dixit uni ex hominibus “In Paradiso cum patribus mecum eris hodie”.

Mater dolorosa plena lacrimosa videns ruinosa Filium in cruce, cum voce raucosa dixit speciosa “1 lier clamorosa Filium tuum ecce.”

Vertens ad discipulum sic fuit mandatum matrem fuisse per spatium et ipsam consolare; et sicut decebat filium servum paratissimum custodivit preceptum omnino servire.

Dixit Jesus dilectionis “Sitio salutem gentium.” Audi orationibus nostris tuae misericordiae. O Jesu, rex amabilis quid sustulisti pro nobis per merita tuae passionis peto veniam a te.

Jesu, dicens clamasti, “Deus meus, num quid me dereliquisti” Per acetum quod gustasti ne derelinquas me. “Consummatum.” dixisti.

0 Jesu Fili Dei, in hora exitus mei, animam meam suscipe. Tunc spiritum emisit, et matrem gladius pertransivit: aqua et sanguis exivit ex delicato corpore: Post ab Arimathia rogavit et Jesum sepelivit, et Nicodemus venit ferens mixturam myrrhae. 0 dolorosa mater Christi, quales poenas tu vidisti, corde tenens habuisti fidem totius ecclesiae.

Ora pro me, regina coeli, Filium tuum dicens; “Fili, in hora mortis peccatis suis indulge.”



Mary, full of virtue, pity and grace, mother of mercy, protect us from the enemy. Most gentle Mary, filled with life. pour out, of your compassion, prayers on our behalf, and release me from my sins, just as your son prayed for those crucifying him, “Father, forgive the ignorant.” Hanging between two robbers, through his great holiness he said to one of the men, “You will today be in heaven with me and your ancestors”.

The grieving mother, filled with tears, destroyed by the sight of her son hanging on the cross, spoke in a hoarse voice, pronouncing her feelings. “Wailing woman”, was the reply, “Behold your son.”

As he turned to the disciple, came the order to console herself that she had been a mother for a time, and just as she was worthy of a son so ready to be a servant; so he obeyed the instruction to be a servant completely.

Jesus spoke of his choice,”! thirst for the deliverance of the nations.” Of your mercy, give ear to our prayers, 0 Jesus. King most worthy of love, what you endured for us. Through the grace of your suffering I seek pardon from you.

Jesus, you called out, saying, “My God, why have you deserted me?” By the vinegar which you tasted, do not desert me.

“It is finished,” you said. Jesus, Son of God, take up my soul in the hour of my death. Then he gave up the ghost, and the sword pierced his mother: water and blood poured out from his tender body. Later, she asked for his body from Arimathea and buried Jesus, and Nicodemus came bearing a mixture of myrrh. 0 grieving Mother of Christ, what punishments you saw. You had the faith of the whole church, keeping it in your heart.

Pray for me, Queen of Heaven, saying to your son, “Son, forgive your servant’s sins in the hour of his death.”




Beautiful and powerful words.  The piety is felt everywhere, no matter which way one turns.


— posted by Roger W. Smith

   October 27, 2021

“Ar ne kuth” II




Regarding my recent post “Ar ne kuth”

“Ar ne kuth”


Tenet Vocal artists has put the entire concert online at:

The link will take you to the entire concert on YouTube.


Ar ne kuth is at


“Ar ne kuth” is sung by  soprano Jolle Greenleaf.


Roger W. Smith

   April 2020



emails, March 23, 2020


Dear Jolle,

Tenet is a precious resource.

I am thankful that living in NYC gives me the opportunity to attend concerts such as Monteverdi’s Vespers in December (which I had always wanted to hear performed live) and English renaissance vocal music at the Strand.

I sometimes blog about music (I am not a performer or musicologist).

In a recent post of mine at

“Ar ne kuth”

I wrote: “I heard this medieval song [“A ne kuth”] performed by soprano Jolle Greenleaf (her voice is incredible and virtually indescribable) in a concert of English medieval music by Tenet Vocal Artists at the Rare Book Room of the Strand Bookstore on February 13, 2020.

Thanks again.


Roger Smith


Hi Roger,

It’s so gratifying to read this — thank you so much! I’m grateful you were able to catch our last Vespers, and that you were with us at the Strand. What a wonderful night that was! I’m honored by your kind words – your blog is so important. Thank you for your work on that!

Very gratefully,

Jolle Greenleaf

“Ar ne kuth”


Ar ne kuthe ich sorghe non
nu ich mot imane min mon;
karful wel sore ich syche

Geltles ich sholyc muchele schame;
help God, for thin swete name,
kyng of heuene riche.

Jesu crist, sod God sod man,
louerd thu rew upon me,
of prisun thar ich in am
bring me ut and makye fre.

Ich and mine feren sume,
God wot ich ne lyghe noct,
for othre habbet misname
ben in thys prisun ibroct.

Almicti, that wel lictli,
bale is hale and bate, heuenking,
of this woning ut us bringe mote.

Foryef hem, the wykke men,
yhef it is thi wille, for wos gelt
we bed ipelt in thos prisun hille.

Ne hope non to this liue
her ne mai he biliue,
Heghe thegh he astighe
ded hym felled to grunde.

Nu had man wele and blisce,
rathe he shal thar of misse.
worldes wele midywisse
ne lasted buten on stunde.

Maiden that bare the heuen king,
bisech thin sone, that swete thing,
that he habbe of hus rewsing
and bring hus of this woning,
for his muchele milse.

He bring hus ut of this wo,
and hus tache werchen swo
in thos liue, go wusit go
that we moten ey and o
habben the eche blisse.


Previously I knew no sorrow,
now I must give voice to my grief:
full of care I and suffering. I sigh.

Guiltless, I suffer great shame:
help, God, for your sweet name,
Lord of heaven’s kingdom.

Jesus Christ, in truth God, in truth man,
Lord, have pity upon me,
from this prison that I am in
bring me out and make me free.

I and some of my companions,
(God knows that I do not lie)
for other men’s misdeeds
have into this prison been cast.

Almighty, who very easily
is remedy and cure for pain, heaven-king,
from this misery may liberate us.

Forgive them. the wicked men,
God, if it is your will. for whose guilt
we have been thrust into this evil prison.

Have no hope in this life.
for here he may not remain.
High though he ascends,
death will fell him to the ground.

Now man has wealth and bliss,
but soon he shall lose them.
The wealth of the world certainly
lasts not but a moment.

Maiden who bore the Heaven-king,
beseech your son, that sweet thing,
that he have pity on us
and bring us from this misery,
for his great mercy.

May he bring us out of this woe,
and teach us to act
so that in this life, however it may go,
we may forever
have eternal bliss.



I heard this medieval song performed by soprano Jolle Greenleaf (her voice is incredible and virtually indescribable) in a concert of English medieval music by Tenet Vocal Artists at the Rare Book Room of the Strand Bookstore on February 13, 2020.

Pity the prisoners incarcerated, most of them with no purpose and for no good — I would guess this is true of about ninety-five percent of the prisoners currently incarcerated — by our criminal “justice” system.


— Roger W. Smith

   February 2020



“A common thread throughout medieval English sacred music, both in Latin and in the vernacular, is a devoted love of Mary. The sweetness of so much of English polyphony seems especially appropriate for music to celebrate Christianity’s great mother.

“In ‘Arne kuth ich sorghe non’ the singer, destitute and imprisoned, first calls out to Jesus for help. Finally, in the last stanza she turns to Mary, imploring her to intercede with her son Christ: “beseech thy son to have pity on us and bring us from this great misery.”

— program notes by Robert Mealy



See also my post

“Ar ne kuth” II

“Ar ne kuth” II