Recorded on January 10th, 2011. Versa est in luctum, by Alonso Lobo (1555-1617), composed for the obsequies of Philip II of Spain, who died in 1598. “My harp is turned to mourning and my music into the voice of those that weep. Spare me, Lord, for my days are nothing.”
CONTINUUM is the newest and most dynamic early music ensemble on the UK classical music scene.
Under the collaborative leadership of top producer and director Adrian Peacock, the internationally renowned expert in Spanish early music Bruno Turner and bass-baritone Jamie W. Hall, CONTINUUM brings together twelve of the finest professional consort singers in London, carefully chosen to produce a unique and vibrant sound that celebrates the very best qualities of the English choral tradition and the powerful beauty of the uninhibited human voice.
This all-male ensemble has made 16th century Spanish sacred polyphony and chant the core of its repertoire, and seeks to perform this wonderful music at the original, sonorous low pitch as it would have been heard in Spanish cathedrals and religious institutions during Spain’s “Golden Age”.
A traditional way to sing the Gloria is antiphonally between cantor/schola and people. This not usually done today (my impression) but it is an interesting practice that provides more variety and some rest for singers between phrases. The idea here is to break at the double bars.
Amazon is not offering such clarity but at least the book is now consistently in stock.
There are no public records to compare sales of Catholic music books across time but you might have noticed that this book has been as high as 2,000 on the list of bestsellers and not dipped belong 20,000. These are amazing numbers, and we are already preparing for the second printing. We don’t want to come up short on inventory (which is possible) but neither are we in a position to print before we can pay for it, which we can’t right now.
I’ve heard wonderful reports of fantastic and even heroic work by Dr. Paul Ford who is attending the NPM convention. He spoke glowingly about the book in front of 2,000 people, waving it around and putting a picture on the big screen. You know, this kind of generosity of spirit is a rare thing in the music world. Bless him!
Finally, I was struck by what Gavin wrote in the MusicaSacra forum: “What amazes me about the SEP is their versatility. They can be sung by choir; by soloist; cantor on verse, choir on antiphon; alternatim men/women; the psalm sung by the congregation(!); in some communities, it may even be possible to teach the congregation certain important antiphons. Musically they can be sung in unison, octaves, with improvised organ accompaniment, with vocal/instrumental drone, with percussive instruments, etc. The melodies are even worthy of a skilled organist improvising upon them.”
The following is a brief response to a review over at PRAY TELL BLOG written by GIA artist Chris Angel that comments upon GIA’s release of the third edition of GATHER.
The little ear wig that causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble….is the very future and viability of “hymnals” per se. My concern over hymnals and worship books in general remains the same whether one is considering the efficacy of GATHER III, ADOREMUS II, BY FLOWING WATERS II, or the SIMPLE ENGLISH PROPERS; in other words, the problem I portend remains the same no matter from which side of the musical spectrum comes one’s perspective. In the vibrant economy of the post-conciliar musical palette, there is no single comprehensive volume that has culled the best of both past and contemporaneous composition intended for congregational, choral and schola(stic) use at worship. The only acknowledged “universal” volume(s) remain the Latin books, GR, GM, LU, GT, AR etc. And that just isn’t in the cards for universal acceptance, as ideal a solution that more and more voices argue for.
I used to cite that one of the more efficient hymnal compilations a couple of decades ago was the ARMED FORCES HYMNAL (USA). Perhaps I felt that way because its editors seemed to cover enough ecumenical bases, and that its intent was purposefully broad by necessity. But we don’t enjoy that same luxury of having another political entitity commission, compile, edit and mandate the usage of a hymnal for parish and cathedral use in regular society. I don’t think the CBW would qualify as a shining example of cumulative success. On the other hand, folks that offer up the Brompton Oratory hymnal as a standard really don’t come down from the gallery often enough, IMO.
So, if not the BIG HYMNAL model, what else? The homegrown HULA Hymnal on demand tailored for one or two generations of a specific parish or diocese? Dunno.
But the notion of the USCCB/BCL not tabling agenda items such as the “white list” regarding texts, the exhortation towards including propers among hymns, polyphony, chant and sacred song, and other types of guidance seems to me an urgent necessity.
Musica Sacra Choir and Chamber Orchestra of Mobile, Alabama, announces a High Requiem Mass (Missa Cantata) and Absolution at the Catafalque for deceased singers and benefactors, Friday evening, July 29, at half past seven o’clock at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Mobile, Alabama.
Mass will be sung by the Very Reverend Stephen Martin, V.G., Cathedral Rector Musical Setting: Maurice Durufle. Christopher Uhl is the Music Director and Conductor (of Musica Sacra; he is a former Music Director of the Cathedral; in addition to his work with Musica Sacra, he is Director of Music of the Hoosac School, Hoosick, New York), and Jeff Clearman, organist (Organist-Choirmaster, All Saints Church, Mobile)
The public is invited and there will be a book at the door to enter the names of a departed loved by anyone who attends.
There are some wonderful essays in this newly uploaded book: Cum Angelis Canere, edited by Fr. Robert Skeris (1990), not the least of which are the brilliant pieces by Richard J. Schuler who is the subject of this festschrift. Others pieces by Hayburn, Fowells, Mahrt, and others.
Now, that’s a title guaranteed to draw interest, right? Msgr. Andrew Wadsworth has emerged as one of the most brilliant commentators and scholars in this age of liturgical transition. He has a way of crafting publishable articles just during his casual banter. He manages to combine a scholarly with a pastoral temperament – with content that is at once thoroughly orthodox and unconventional. In addition, in his personality, he reminds one of want a 19th-century diplomat might have been like, a person who is able to say what’s true, what’s principled, what’s wise, all while keeping the peace . I tell you, it takes a person like this to deal with the current environment.
It’s a great thing when any attention comes to the subject of Catholic music but even better when the attention focuses on a great institution: NCReg on Corpus Christi Watershed.