Wednesday, October 5, 2011

How Does One Pronounce Latin Words?

After the concert, the organist from La Sainte Trinite (where we had performed earlier in our trip) offered to introduce me to the conductor.  Here was my chance to ask the chant director at Notre Dame in Paris about period pronunciation of Latin!  Perhaps I would finally put to rest what at the time had been a heated debate with one of my colleagues.  So I went up to the maestro, told him how much I had enjoyed the performance, and asked (in my best French) why it was that some words were pronounced as if they were French.  Was it for historical authenticity? issues of vocal technique? acoustical considerations?  He smiled and said (in English), “Why?  It is because my singers do not listen to me.”

More at the hilariously named euouae.com