Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Chant Camp in the Bay Area!

Our readers in the greater Bay Area region will want to know that Mary Ann Carr Wilson's wonderful Chant Camp is making a one-week stop at St. Dominic's Church in Benicia in two weeks' time.

The camp has been recognized throughout the country as a popular week (involving hundreds of kids in San Diego) that moves children rapidly forward in their lives as chanters.

Best wishes for a fantastic week!

"And with your spirit"

If the Holy Spirit did not exist in the one who is the father and teacher of us all, when he ascended to that holy throne and gave peace to all of you, you would not have been able to reply to him with one voice: "and with your spirit." That is why you are able to say these words not only when he ascends to the altar but also when he converses with you or prays for you; and when he stand at that holy table and is on the point of offering that fearful sacrifice, it is then that you as initiated ones know that he does not touch the offerings before he has implored for you the grace of the Lord or before you have replied: "And with your spirit." This response reminds you that the one who is there does nothing by himself and that the gifts that are expected are in no way the works of man, but it is the grace of the Spirit that has descended on all of you that brings about this mystical sacrifice. There is no doubt that a man is present there, but it is God who acts through him.

St. John Chrysostom

Monday, July 27, 2015

Two guys, EF and OF, walk into a bar...I mean sacristy....

After getting and perusing the July/Aug. issue of the New Oxford Review, I read a lovely little piece of parabolic fiction by Deacon W. Patrick Cunningham of San Antonio. Deacon apparently attended the Indy Colloquium in 2014 and was moved to imagine what a conversation the characters OF and EF would have (with moderator.) It's clever, not at all excessively scholarly or protracted. The central focus of the article regards how each rite "informs" the other, as Cunningham was invoking PEmeritus B16's motu of '07. I hope to have the Review's permission to link this forum and the Café to the entire article within a couple of days. The good deacon assiduously avoids the snark that often attends such compare/contrast discussions, and actually the article could serve as a bridge not only for RotR, but perhaps actualizing the pastoral choice to celebrate the Vetus Ordo. Keep you posted.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

"What Has Happened to Sacred Catholic Music?"

An article in the Catholic Stand, (a new-to-me website, but I'm always the last to know....) which includes an interview with our Kathy Reinheimer. (Many of the Chant Cafe's readers will know her from Colloquia.)

Go read it all, but this struck me, what with all the conversation of late about church musicians abruptly fired/forced out.
[Kathy:] "I am seeing bright spots of scholae popping up all over the country.”
HL: “It still depends on the local bishop.”
Kathy: “My choir... operates at the pleasure of the bishop even though we are an independent 501c3, all he would have to do is send out a notice to all the parishes that Regina Pacis is no longer welcome and we would be done, just like that.  Bless his heart he has chosen to not do that, but there are other places that have not been as fortunate.
We must remember to count our blessings, making our prayers of thanksgiving not just petition, (I am speaking to myself here...)

Monday, July 20, 2015

Sacred Music Workshop in Georgia

News of this  in my inbox this a.m.

A One-day Experience of Gregorian Chant and Polyphony

The Summer Sacred Music Workshop is a one-day workshop where you will learn about the Ancient Gregorian Chant and other forms of Catholic Liturgical Music. The workshop is open to all who have an interest in the history and application of music in the liturgy; Catholics, non-Catholics, priests, deacons, religious, choir directors, singers, etc.
Workshop Highlights:
  • Training in Gregorian Chant under professional church musicians, with choices of a chant class for beginners, and courses for advanced men or women.
  • Keynote lecture by Rev. David Carter, JCL, entitled: Re-discovery of the Church’s Sacred Tradition: II Kings 22
  • A panel discussion on the Liturgy and Sacred Music
  • Choral experience with one of the two choirs; a beginning polyphony choir or a choir for more experienced singers.
  • A Sung Mass in the Novus Ordo where you can apply what you learn.
  • A music packet including all the chants, motets and other helpful resources.
August 15, 2015
Our Lady of the Mountains Roman Catholic Church

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

New publication: two-voice motets by Peter Philips (1560-1628)

Dr. Janet Hunt, FAGO, director of music at St. John Seminary in Boston, writes about her recent work:

The publication of my edition of sacred vocal music by the English composer Peter Philips is the result of a long yet enjoyable work process covering several years.  The new volume, 75 Motets for Two Solo Voices and Organ Continuo from Paradisus Sacris Cantionibus (1628) represents the bulk of an even larger collection of 107 motets last published posthumously in 1641, and is the first time these particular motets have appeared in print since then.  So, how did a harpsichordist/organist from Texas (me) end up editing Philips’ vocal music?

I became acquainted with Philips’ keyboard music while studying harpsichord in college and playing several selections by him found in The Fitzwilliam Virginal Book. This large volume of keyboard music was collected by Sir Francis Tregian (1548-1608), an English Catholic imprisoned during the persecution of Catholics in Elizabethan England.  Several of the composers represented in the FVB were Catholic as well, and as I pursued their individual stories I became fascinated with those who chose to remain in England – William Byrd, for one – and those who fled to the Continent, such as Peter Philips.

Following initial musical training in London, Philips left England in 1582, “pour la foy Catholique” as he later stated.  He travelled to Rome, then to other cities in Italy, Spain and France before arriving in Brussels in 1590.  He entered the service of the Hapsburg Archduke Albert in 1597, and remained a member of the court chapel until his death.  Albert and his wife, Isabella, were sympathetic to recusant English musicians arriving at their court, where sacred music enhanced their frequent liturgies.  Moreover, they were people of great faith who supported public acts of piety in the form of Eucharistic and Marian processions in Brussels, as well as encouraged confraternities of lay people dedicated to the Catholic faith.  Both Brussels and nearby Antwerp had a thriving printing industry, and thus Philips’ compositions were published in the early 1600’s.

Almost four centuries later, I first heard a motet from Paradisus Sacris Cantionibus on a recording of a Belgian vocal ensemble.  Immediately attracted, I searched in vain for the scores, only to find that the group sang from copies they made from the original 1628 partbooks.  Over time, I discovered that Christ Church Library in Oxford, England possessed a complete set of partbooks, and I was able to obtain a microfilm copy, along with permission to prepare the edition.

The result is what I hope will be a welcome addition to a little-known genre, the accompanied small-scale motets of the early 17th century.  These works by composers such as Peter Philips, Felice Anerio, Richard Dering, and Giacomo Finetti, are set for one to four solo voices with organ accompaniment.  They embrace late Renaissance as well as early Baroque compositional traits, by combining occasional moments of imitative polyphony with Italianate expressive and florid solo passages.  The texts are taken from antiphons and responsories for various saints’ days.  Many Eucharistic and Marian-themed motets complete the collections, making them suitable for a variety of liturgical celebrations.

The Philips edition is available for purchase through the website http://www.huntmusic.us.

[Dr. Hunt has graciously allowed us to share a sample motet from the collection, Misericordias Domini.  The text is Psalm 88:1-3, 6; originally for the third nocturn, first psalm at Matins on December 25.]

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Is the Youth of Today Necessarily “Modern Man”?

We have another great testimony about the importance of the Colloquium, and how it affected Dr. Peter Kwasniewski as he attended this year.
Recently my son and I participated in the Sacred Music Colloquium XXV of the Church Music Association of America, held at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. As with the Sacra Liturgia 2015 Conference, a large portion of the participants were young adults who love beautiful music that is obviously sacred in its stylistic qualities, cultural associations, and avowed liturgical purpose.


At Sacra Liturgia 2015 and Colloquium XXV, one sees ample evidence that we are turning a corner. The rebels of yesteryear look embarrassingly old-fashioned, and the youth who still want to practice their Faith need more, desire more, and deserve more than the Church’s hierarchy has been willing (or even able?) to give them until now. And these young men and women are figuring out how to find their way back to the Tradition, in spite of all obstacles, detours, traps, and poor signage. This movement—this hunger for Catholic Tradition—cannot be stopped. But it can be somewhat delayed by obstructionists or actively promoted by shepherds who care for the eternal destiny of their sheep.
Continue over at NLM

Friday, July 10, 2015

Pope Emeritus Benedict receives honorary doctorates

Thank you, and congratulations!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Chant Bestseller

FATHER BASIL NIXEN IS THE CHOIRMASTER of the Benedictines at Norcia, Italy. Their chant CD is now #1 Best-seller at Barnes &Noble in the US as well as debut #1 Classical Traditional on this week’s Billboard Chart, #1 Classical Amazon US and #1 Classical iTunes US. Nevertheless, Fr Nixen demonstrated great patience and answered some pretty elementary questions from REGINA Magazine this week – all about chant.  
REGINA: Do you find it confining to only have to sing chant? 
Fr. Basil Nixen:  I must admit that years ago when I first entered the monastery I did find it confining to sing exclusively chant.  At times I yearned for the rich harmony of polyphony or Eastern chant and even looked at Gregorian Chant as lacking something due to its monophonic character. And I can see how somebody might feel like this.  But now I certainly do not feel like this.  Now, after ten years or so of a diet of liturgical prayer consisting exclusively of it, I’ve come to experience the richness and depth inherent in Gregorian Chant and I see its monophonic character as a jewel– certainly not as a defect.  It just takes time for it to sink in.  Our musical palate has to become accustomed to it.   I think that as with all fine things in life, and above all with prayer itself, Gregorian Chant is an acquired taste. 
From "Isn't Chant Too Hard?" And Other Outlandish Questions for the Monks of Norcia, from Regina Magazine.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Colloquium Vlog Day 3 and 4!

My apologies for the delay in posting, but here are a few more clips from the day throughout the colloquium over the past days!

Honorary Doctorate for Pope Emeritus Benedict

Today the 3rd of July 2015, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI will receive the Honorary Doctorate from the Pontifical University John Paul II and the Academy of Music in Krakow in Castel Gandolfo.

Before leaving for Castel Gandolfo, Pope Emeritus Benedict was visited by the Holy Father Pope Francis at the Mater Ecclesiae convent.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

An Open Letter to Colloquium 25 Colleagues at Duquesne

My dear CMAA sisters and brothers at the 25th Colloquium,

Eight years ago I sat in some auditorium at Catholic University in D.C. and listened to Professor William Mahrt lay forth the the blueprint for what we now call by a number of names: the Reform of the Reform, Progressive Solemnity, Brick by Brick, et cetera. I am unable to be with you all this year, particularly as I love Pittsburgh and Duquesne with special affection and despite having separated my shoulder on her city streets after the second colloquium.

But with a special, almost burning joy, I want to let you all know that the prophetic remedies for the liturgical and musical sorrows and desert that Dr. Mahrt has provided all within ear and eye shot through his whole life, these are and will continue to bear great fruit. It’s dinner time back in Pennsylvania as I type this. I just came home from the latest in a series of tutorials for one of our associate pastors. Essentially, when he came to the parish not even a year ago as a fairly new priest ordained only one year, he had no essential chanting skills that would enable him to negotiate all the celebrant’s orations in the Missal. By rote memory he would intone a “Per ipsum” that he’d acquired in seminary. After a few months, he asked if I would be willing to help him learn to sing the Mass. Sing the Mass. Well, now as I type, he can chant the whole Third Edition from the “In Nomine…to the Ite Missa est.” Indeed, Deo gratias! I come from every one of these sessions fully of holy joy, for the Lord has sent this priest to us, a sign of His care for His people and their worship of Him in holy and fit manner.

This associate pastor is also now competent and has celebrated the Missa Lecta in the Usus Antiquior, and we are now talking about moving towards both the celebration of a fully sung Novus Ordo in Latin, and a Missa Cantata in the Traditional Latin Mass. So, it can be done. Anywhere, by anyone (like our new priest) who will devote themselves to the simple disciplines laid out for us in our documents, and in study volumes such as Professor Mahrt’s MUSICAL SHAPE OF THE LITURGY will experience my joy. If this is your first colloquium, and you’re going to return this weekend to a parish stultified by mediocrity, do NOT despair. In time, with learning, experience and repeated practice, the things you are doing this week become a real possibility at your home parish.

Fare thee well, my colleagues.