Wednesday, March 16, 2011

"If Ye Love Me" as an Institution

There was a touching moment I just remembered from last year's Sacred Music Colloquium. After a week of dining in the same large and beautiful room, the wait staff from Dusquene requested that we sing something. We had been singing all week but not in the dining all. So Horst Buchholz suggested Tallis's "If Ye Love Me" which we had in our packets but had not actually sung at liturgy at week.

He stood up on a chair, gave a pitch, and right there in the dining hall, 250 people began to sing. It was the last piece we sang for the Colloquium. Yes, there were tears of course. It was absolutely stunningly beautiful. No rehearsal, needless to say. Many people were obviously singing from memory too, which suggests to me that many scholas around the country are singing this piece. It is one of those introductory pieces that has such incredible substance that people tend to use it again and again for years.

I know that this piece has a special place in the hearts of our own schola.

Here is a version sung by the Dominican Schola during the Funeral Mass of Fr. Kurt Pritzl, O.P. at the Basilica of the National Shrine.

The Words are from John 14: 15-17: If ye love me, keep my commandments, and I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another comforter, that he may bide with you for ever, ev'n the spirit of truth...

The members of the Schola Cantorum were Brs. Ambrose Little, Vincent Ferrer Bagan, Raphael Forbing, Philip Neri Reece, Matthew Mueller (the cantor - from CUA), Innocent Smith, Sebastian White, Peter Totleben, Charles Shonk, Leo Checkai, Fr. John Baptist Ku and Fr. James Moore.

"If ye love me" from Province of Saint Joseph on Vimeo.