Wednesday, May 31, 2017

From Graduale to Godspell

I was born as Vatican II ended and received little catechesis in my schooling, even though the majority of my time was spent in Catholic schools. I barely even knew what Gregorian chant was, although our parish choir did sing some polyphony. But our "folk group" played "One Tin Soldier," "Blowin' In The Wind," and their own composition "It's Fine Today." I sobbed in my pew when I heard "Day By Day" from Godspell [1] played for Communion, but I wonder whether I was having a Jesus moment or just a purely emotional reaction.

Most Masses these days have no one my age in the congregation; I don't think that's a coincidence. You won't either when you read this from CrisisAbandoning Latin Changed Liturgical Music...for the Worse.

Note how the author refers to Tra le Sollecitudini, Pope St. Pius X's attempt to put chant and polyphony back into prominence a century ago when profane masses and other music were seeping into the Liturgy. I discussed that a bit here.

I'll spoil the money quote from the article:
Mass is not supposed to make me musically comfortable—it’s supposed to make me more holy. [2]

[1] If you can handle seeing the 1973 film version of Godspell, you won't be able to watch it as you did pre-9/11. For one thing, in the above photo the ensemble is performing the closing part of "All For The Best" atop the North Tower of the World Trade Center, 1,350 feet above street level. It's impossible not to notice the Towers, still under construction at the time, throughout the film.

Some other quick Godspell trivia:

  • I once met Victor Garber ("Jesus"), who went on to have a prominent role in Titanic
  • Lynne Thigpen, who belted out "Bless The Lord," became better known as "Chief" on Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego?, but passed away way too soon in 2003.
  • Playing the piano in many of the movie numbers was a young keyboardist named Paul Shaffer, who later became David Letterman's bandleader and sidekick.

[2] Emphasis as in the original.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Meanwhile in Nebraska...

Another chant album is topping the Billboard classical charts, and this one comes from the FSSP priests of Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary near Lincoln, NE. In Saecula Saeculorum also includes several polyphonic pieces such as Palestrina's Alma Redemptoris Mater and Adoramus Te; you can hear samples at the album link.

More from SFGate here.

Monday, May 15, 2017

A Sacred Music Podcast

Not with Patrick Stewart, but with Fr. David Friel, courtesy of Corpus Christi Watershed.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

June 4: Pentecost

4 PM at the Cathedral. Pray we feel just a little of the air conditioning. Tongues of fire may not do us much good in the loft.

Introit: Spiritus Domini

KyrieGloriaAgnus DeiMissa Prima (Haller; mp3s)

Offertory: Confirma hocBreathe On Me, Breath of God

Sanctus: Mass VIII

Communio: Factus est repenteConfirma hoc, Deus (Aichinger; click the yellow midi icon)

Recessional: Come Holy Ghost (handout)

Monday, May 8, 2017

May 28: Ascension Thursday Sunday

8 AM at St. Peter Canisius. Bring your Green Book to rehearsals. Note too we are singing a Latin Offertory, not an English one. 😎

Introit: Viri Galilei

Kyrie: Green Book, #21 (Haller)

GloriaSanctusAgnus Dei: Mass I

Offertory: Ascendit DeusHail The Day That Sees Him Rise (SATB) (Adoremus)

Communio: Panis Angelicus (Palestrina)

Recessional: Alleluia! Sing To Jesus

Sunday, May 7, 2017

May 21: 6th Sunday of Easter

4 PM at the Cathedral. Here we go down the home stretch for this season!

Introit: Vocem jucunditatis

KyrieGloriaSanctusAgnus Dei: Mass VIII

Credo III

Offertory: Benedicite gentes, O Holy Spirit Come To Us

Communio: Non vos relinquamIf Ye Love Me (Tallis) -- SATB

Recessional: Hail The Day That Sees Him Rise (SATB)

Monday, May 1, 2017

May 7: 4th Sunday of Easter

4 PM at the Cathedral.

Introit: Misericordia Domini

KyrieSanctusAgnus Dei (no Gloria): Mass XVII

Credo III

Offertory: Deus, Deus meus; Be Joyful, Mary Heavenly Queen (SMH)

Communio: Ego sum pastor bonus, Panis Angelicus (Palestrina)

Recessional: At The Lamb's High Feast We Sing (SMH)