Religious Music vs. Sacred Music

Papal legislation concerning music has long distinguished religious music generally from sacred or liturgical music specifically. The vast majority of music now heard at Mass is not in fact liturgical music; it is religious music of a general sort, and that’s just not a good thing. Religious music is fine and even spectacular and indispensable for the culture of the faith. It is not however the basis of ritual.

I’m reminded of this distinction having been totally enraptured by this performance of Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater – a piece that has an amazing power, a piece you could listen to 10,000 times and still find more within it, a piece that can become a lifetime favorite for generation after generation. See if you agree. And see if you also agree that a concert setting is the right place for it.

Embedding has been disabled for this but don’t let that stop you. This is glorious.