Dr. Horst Buchholz’ Mass of St. Francis

This morning I had the joy of cantoring the Mass of St Francis for the first time.

There’s always a learning curve with a new ordinary, but this one was actually easy to learn and very rewarding. At the same time simple and sophisticated, it followed the contours and complexities of the texts beautifully. The Gloria in particular was impressive, climbing the iterations of praise. Praise, bless, and the second syllable of adore are each held for a dotted quarter, and then at the high point, the first syllable of glorify is held for a full half note. It’s a subtle but very effective climax.

When singing of the Second Person of the Trinity, the setting drops to the relative minor. This happens in both in the Lord Jesus Christ section of the Gloria and the Blessed is He section of the Holy, Holy, Holy. The effect is a solemn recollection of the wonders of the Word made flesh.

It’s a great pleasure to sing liturgical music that is so thoughtfully crafted!

Comments?

The “Extraordinary Music Workshop”: day one

Assumption Day and the Extraordinary Music Workshop offered by the Dominican Fathers in Kraków coincided with a major Dominican celebration of the Polish province’s 800th anniversary. Today’s Mass, therefore, was the first of a triduum leading to the feast of the province’s founder, St. Jacek Odrowąż, better known in English-speaking countries as St. Hyacinth.

Basilica of the Holy Trinity
Basilica of the Holy Trinity (interior)
Assumption Day Mass at the Basilica

The Mass was offered in Polish, and the church was filled with the generally young participants in the EMW.

Here is a sample of some of the music sung today. I think even the hymns with recently composed melodies have an impressive depth.

  • Już się anieli wiesielą (“Let angels rejoice”), a 15th-century hymn in a setting by present-day composer Paweł Bębanek
  • Kyrie VIII
  • Błogosławiona jesteś, Maryjo (“Blessed are you, O Mary”), a hymn written in 2004 by Fr. W. Kądziela
  • the Our Father
  • Bądźże pozdrowiona (“Hail, O living Host”), which augments a classic and familiar Christmas refrain with new verses to make it a Eucharistic hymn for any season

Comments?

The “Extraordinary Music Workshop”: the day before

It is Assumption Eve here in Kraków, and the city is busy with the three-day weekend. For us, there is even a festival of sacred music concerts, Cracovia Sacra, underway tonight, with events starting as late as 10:15 p.m. at the city’s wonderful churches, museums, and religious houses.

On Sunday afternoon, participants checked in for the Dominican Fathers’ week-long sacred music event in Kraków, the “Extraordinary Music Workshop“, and the events of the program start Monday morning: that is, on Assumption Day.

This will be the seventh edition of the event, but the first with a track of sessions conducted in English. I don’t know what the final attendance will be, but a volunteer told me the count of registrations was over 320, a figure that shows the vigorous interest in sacred music in Poland. Most of that attendance by far is by Polish participants, who know that life in Kraków is basically normal despite the war in Ukraine, whose border is 150 miles away.

All that I can show so far to give a hint of the week to come is in a couple of pictures; first, the main image for this post (above), showing the wonderful St. Ann’s University Church, where some of the liturgies will take place; and a snapshot to show the nice work that has gone into preparing the songbooks for the program:

Plus a little sample of the sound of the organ at St. Ann’s, made a few Sundays ago:

Comments?

SCSM Call for Papers

CALL FOR PAPERS

Annual Meeting of the Society for Christian Scholarship in Music

Deadline for proposals, October 1, 2022
Conference dates: March 2–4, 2023
Conference web site: www.scsmusic.org
Conference venue: Duke Divinity School, Durham, NC

Individual papers, research posters, panels, and lecture recitals on any topic related to the study of music and Christianity are welcome. We invite submissions representing a variety of approaches and perspectives, including ethnomusicology, historical musicology, theory and analysis, philosophy, theology, liturgy, congregational music, as well as other methodologies. All submissions should have a clear title. Lecture-recital proposals should contain the list of pieces with approximate timings.

SCSM encourages submissions from current graduate students. A $250 prize will be awarded for the best paper presented by a graduate student at the meeting. In addition, graduate students whose proposals are accepted are eligible to apply for travel assistance from the SCSM Graduate Student Travel Fund.

Note: We are planning on an in-person meeting, along with some online offerings. When submitting a proposal, please indicate whether you intend to present in person or via online. (Changes in presentation format may be possible, but only up to a deadline to be determined by the program committee.) Regardless, all conference participants need to be available during the days of the conference for synchronous sessions.

Please visit the conference website for proposal details. Please send submissions or questions to Mark Peters, program committee chair, at mark.peters@trnty.edu.

Fall Sacred Music Workshop in California!

Fall Sacred Music Workshop 2022 | Menlo Park, California

The Church Music Association of America is pleased to announce the first Fall Sacred Music Workshop for Chant and Polyphony. This four-day workshop offers participants the opportunity to study chant and polyphony with outstanding directors and presenters Dr. Horst Buchholz, Dr. Jennifer Donelson-Nowicka, David Hughes, Dr. William Mahrt, and Rev. Robert Pasley. We also welcome guest speakers Maggie Gallagher, of the Benedict XVI Institute, and Fr. Samuel Weber, of St. Patrick’s Seminary.

Participate in singing the beautiful liturgies with the CMAA on September 15, 16, and 17 at St. Patrick’s Seminary in the Archdiocese of San Francisco, California. Join in with morning and night prayer and enjoy an evening with sung Vespers and an organ recital.

Lodging will be available at Vallombrosa Retreat Center during the workshop. Full meals and lodging are available for participants. Commuter options also available.

Liturgies will be at St. Patrick’s Seminary.

Get all the details here: FALL WORKSHOP

Register online here: ONLINE REGISTRATION

The exuberance of Easter

Ecce manu fortis
trivit retinacula mortis;
Plaude, creatura,
barathri iam despice iura.
Ibi confregit
Potentias, arcum, scutum
gladiumque et bellum;
Plaude, creatura,
perierunt vincula dura.

Behold, with the hand of the strong,
he has shredded the bonds of death;
Clap your hands, O creature,
look down now on the laws of the abyss.
There he has smashed
Powers: bow, shield
and sword, and war;
Clap your hands, O creature,
the hard shackles have passed away.

Audi, ecce, unde:

 

Lectio beati Pauli apostoli ad Corinthios. Fratres, expurgáte vetus ferméntum, ut sitis nova conspérsio, sicut estis ázymi.

Wherefore, hear and behold:

 

A reading from blessed Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians. Brethren, purge out the old leaven, that you may be the new dough, as you are unleavened.

Cantate Domino canticum novum, quia mirabilia fecit.

Audi, ecce, unde:

 

Etenim Pascha nostrum immolátus est Christus.

Res mira, res nova, res sancta.
Laudate Dominum, omnes angeli eius,
laudate eum, omnes virtutes eius.

Dragma reperta,
plaude, creatura,
dea sic plaudenda futura.

Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done wonders.

Wherefore, hear and behold:

 

For Christ our Passover has been sacrificed.

A marvelous thing, a new thing, a holy thing!
Praise the Lord, all his Angels,
praise him, all his Powers.

As the coin has been found [cf. Luke 15:9],
clap your hands, O creature,
O future goddess to be applauded.

 

Itaque epulémur: non in ferménto véteri, neque in ferménto malítiae et nequitiæ: sed in ázymis sinceritátis et veritátis.

 

Therefore let us keep the feast: not in the old leaven, nor in the leaven of malice and iniquity, but in the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

(A troped epistle from the 12th century, my translation. Source information is in volume 49 of Hymni inediti. Liturgische Hymne des Mittelalters.)