Panis Angelicus

Panis Angelicus” had to be on this site, so here it is. This is an MP3 file, compressed into a mono format with a low bit rate, so the quality is not very good, but the file size is relatively small (1.1 MB). I’m not sure you can notice much difference, considering that the “original” computer file was made by playing an old scratchy record on a thrift-store built-in-speaker portable record player ($35, formerly owned by the LDS Church of Littleton, Colorado), captured in the open air by a little computer microphone, and processed by unknown sound-editing software. But it’s the memory that counts, or the connection to the past, and the sound is good enough, for sure.

This was recorded May 2, 1945 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, by Gladys and Helen Madden. The hymn is part of a longer hymn, “Sacris Solemniis,” which was written in 1264 by St. Thomas Aquinas for the feast of Corpus Christi at the request of Pope Urban IV. The music was written in 1872 by Cesar Franck. This sound file was created by me, Patrick, and Dad’s cousin John, using Uncle Jim’s copy of the record.

Every now and then Dad would mention his mother’s beautiful singing voice and the record she and Aunt Helen made when they were young. But the record was lost; nobody seemed to have a copy of it. Eventually, I realized that it would be great to track down a copy of the record and make a recording of it for Dad (and the rest of the family). It wasn’t too hard to find. Uncle Jim said he had a copy, and, as luck would have it, we would be traveling through Colorado in the summer of 2002. Not long before that trip, I received an email from Dad’s cousin John, whom I had never met, but who had visited thanks to a mention in Dad’s Christmas letter (I think that’s how he found it). He invited us to stay with him and his wife, Kamala, and when I mentioned the idea about making a CD of “Panis Angelicus” he was gung ho.

During the day or so we were in Littleton, we tracked down a used record player, fiddled with the computer so it’d record, and created a CD-audio file of the hymn. From there I worked on designing the CD packaging, and the gift was ready for Dad’s birthday, the day before Christmas. (I thought it would be more significant for him to receive something from his mother and his son on his birthday.) I wasn’t in New Jersey to see his reaction (he rarely really likes any gifts he gets, though he sometimes tries to hide it), but all reports say it was a tremendous success.

If you’d like a copy of the CD, with a booklet, insert, label and all, please contact one of us. Meanwhile, below is the MP3 file. Right-click on it to download it to your computer, where you can play it in any number of free media players. If you just regular-click on the link, the file will load and will probably play on a media player (whichever you’ve got associated with internet sound files), but you won’t have a saved copy. Use your right-click (or Option-click on Mac) and choose to save the file on your computer if that’s what you want.

Panis Angelicus (1.1 MB)

PatrickMemories/Sounds03/01/03 2 comments


David • 03/01/03 8:09 PM:


Beautiful. I’m certain it’s the most wonderful gift I’ve ever seen given.

How can I download the file onto my computer as an MP3 file to keep?

Patrick • 03/02/03 5:17 PM:

I edited the entry to make it more clear how you download the file. If I’m not mistaken, you just right click on the link, then choose “Download link to disk” or something similar. Choose where you want it to download to, and wait.

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