More on Q

The Record offers more detail on the wonderful group Q, which will soon release its album of Victoria Responsories. I’m particularly excited because our own schola has begun to explore this music for the first time this season, and I’m startled by so many aspects of it. These pieces are not motets in the way that we’ve come to know them over the last ten years of singing.

It seems more evident that the structure is all designed for textual declamation as a first priority. Unlike texts such as O Sacrum or or Cantate Domino, these are not familiar to us, and it seems that Victoria understood this point and structured the pieces to make the communicative purpose more evident. It really is a different world for polyphony.

The singers who are members of Q come out of long experience as Church musicians at Trinity College, and it is clear from interviews that they have done extensive study of the music with an eye to making it come to life with only one singer per part. We can only hope that this CD will reveal the music in a way that has never been done before.

Their CD, Tenebrae Reflections, is their first under their group name Q and will be launched at a performance at St Joseph’s Church in Subiaco on 19 March at 7.30pm, and is available from The Record Bookshop.
The music of Q – which stands for Quartessence – is not just for concertgoers, Cichy said.

“We try to engage, to show the music in all its beauty for what it is. It’s also an evangelising act – faith through art,” Cichy said. “The most eloquent arguments or apologetics for our faith are made through art, as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) said, it’s in these brief encounters that we have a depth of experience that we wouldn’t gain from reading a whole library of books.
“The function of music in church, apart from worship of God, is to make the Word flesh.

“Christ came in the Incarnation; music draws us into the mystery – it’s our way of seeking the face of God in this life before we’re perfectly united with Him in the next.”

LeCoultre, Francesco and van Reyk have been singing responses since they were in primary school at Trinity College under the expert guidance of Annette Goerke, famed Cathedral organist for 40 years and director of music for some 25 years who first took organ lessons from Fr Albert Lynch, who revolutionised the music culture in the Archdiocese.

She is also one of the few people in the Archdiocese to have been awarded the Holy Cross Pro Ecclesia Et Pontifice (“For Church and Pope”), the award given to lay people and clergy for distinguished service to the Church.
The trio was also part of the Cathedral choir as Trinity also supplied choirboys for the Cathedral since 1938 when Fr Lynch, who established the choir, approached the Christian Brothers for assistance.

The quartet’s repertoire has evolved according to each other’s strengths and interests which converged when they returned to the works of 16th century Spanish composer Tomas Luis de Victoria, plus many items that LeCoultre, Francesco and van Reyk sang in the Cathedral choir and realised with sadness that none of them were sung anywhere in the Archdiocese.

2 Replies to “More on Q”

  1. These responsories are just that, liturgical items, like the Propers of the Mass. It makes sense that Victoria would compose them in the same manner he would a motet. He was obligated to follow the structure of the text with its repetitions. Moreover their use for the Holy Week Tenebrae does demand a more severe approach. He uses the vertical, rather than the horizontal space here. These are truly works on the cusp of the Renaissance/Baroque divide and a full realization of what Josquin taught us about emotion and polyphony. I can't wait to sing these in a few weeks.

  2. This video is brilliant!
    I can see polyphony!

    The walking pace, the communion that is free yet united, the fugal entrance spacing, the subsequent layering of parts and return to unity, the movement toward the goal, the climactic moment within, and subsiding are a beautiful description of the movement of the piece.

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