Lament of the Three Marys

Sunday, June 13, 2010 \AM\.\Sun\.

“Lament of the Three Marys”, by Iarla Ó Lionáird.

(If you enjoy this, I heartily recommend his solo album The Seven Steps to Mercy (Iarla is also a member of the Afro Celt Sound System, fusing modern dance rhythms (trip-hop, techno, etc.) with traditional Irish (Celtic) and West African music).


Vitali’s Chaconne played by Sarah Chang

Saturday, January 30, 2010 \AM\.\Sat\.

In keeping with the weekend music tradition on American Catholic:


Something Big Is On The Move At The Houston Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart

Friday, January 22, 2010 \AM\.\Fri\.

[Updates at the bottom of this article]

Parishioners and friends are helping history arrive at the Galveston-Houston Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart. The arrival of the long awaited Pasi Organ Builders Opus 19 organ marks the commencement of its installation.

This past Monday morning, the first of two large moving trucks rode into downtown Houston and pulled onto the driveway of the Co-Cathedral. Soon thereafter, members of the parish and friends began offloading thousands of pounds of handmade organ components into the magnificent Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of the Archdiocese of Galveston Houston.

Since its consecration and Mass of Dedication on April 2, 2008, the Co-Cathedral community has been worshiping accompanied by a digital organ, piano and other instruments. Beginning in the Fall of 2010, the Co-Cathedral will begin offering and expressing praise, thanks, contrition, and petition to God with this magnificent new organ.

Martin Pasi and his team at Pasi Organ Builders of Roy, Washington, have been constructing this grand organ since Fall 2006. Thousands of custom, hand-made wood and metal parts will be installed and tuned over the next nine months for an estimated in-service date of mid October 2010.

With one of two trucks unloaded, the Parish celebrated the regular daily mass at 12:10, offered by Daniel Cardinal DiNardo and Rector of the Cathedral, The Very Reverend Lawrence Jozwiak. After Mass, the Cardinal officiated at a special blessing ceremony for the organ pipes and their installers.

The Pasi installers will have the important job of installing 5499 hand made pipes, 25,000 linear feet of lumber and 11 tons of tin, lead, pipeworks and mechanical action within two 45 foot tall cabinets aside the grand Resurrection Window in the Choir Loft.

The complete specifications for this grand organ list 75 different stops, 4 manuals or keyboards, and 104 different sets of pipes or ranks, varying in size from as small as ½ inch and as long as 32 feet. A rarity today, the Opus 19 Organ also features a free reed stop Clarinette.

The second truck was unloaded Tuesday.

Story written by Greg Haas, Mosaicist & Founder, Studio D’Oro LLC, Houston.

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For more information visit www.studiodoro.com

Cross-posted over at CVSTOS FIDEI.


Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on the Theme by Thomas Tallis

Saturday, January 9, 2010 \PM\.\Sat\.

Many of my favorite pieces of music I associate with the night sky. This is because my father, who was throughout my life a planetarium director, often used his favorite pieces of music as background during planetarium shows. Being the oldest, I frequently had the chance to tag along to planetarium shows, and sit under the dome, listening to my father’s voice. And so now, when I hear something like Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on the Theme by Thomas Tallis I find myself thinking of the constellations, and I also find myself oddly misty about the eyes.


How God Saved My Soul Through Music

Tuesday, January 5, 2010 \AM\.\Tue\.

I was inspired to transfer my brain goo to the computer screen over the last couple of hours. Here are the results.  Here’s to a more fruitful discussion.

I haven’t talked extensively about why I rejected atheistic communism and made my way back to Catholicism. There were a number of reasons; being shown the logical and moral bankruptcy of materialism, the corruption I personally witnessed in the movement, the fact that I could never bring myself to really embrace any of the tenants of the cultural agenda, and so on. The idea of fighting for anything in a universe that did not, and could not care about the outcome of human events could no longer captivate me. I suppose some people are able to convince themselves of the possibility, even the certainty, of “goodness” in a reality that owes nothing to consciousness and will; to me, such a belief, no matter how comforting, would be a lie. And I cannot live a lie.

Read the rest of this entry »


Celtic Woman Singing Little Drummer Boy

Thursday, December 24, 2009 \PM\.\Thu\.

Little Drummer Boy is one of my favorite Christmas songs of all time and I surprisingly stumbled across the Celtic Woman version of this song.  Celtic Woman is an all-female musical ensemble which I came across on YouTube earlier this year and they are delightfully good!

This version of the popular Christmas song has Gregorian chant in it, I’m not sure who scored this, but it works very well with Celtic Woman’s version of Little Drummer Boy.

Here is the original music by the Harry Simeone Chorale:

And finally here is the Vienna Boys Choir rendition of this song:

My favorite line of the song is “then He smiled at me“.

Gets me every time.

Long live Christ the King!

Have a blessed Christmas.


Pange Lingua Gloriosi

Thursday, September 3, 2009 \AM\.\Thu\.

Composed by Saint Thomas Aquinas for the Office of Corpus Christi (see CORPUS CHRISTI, FEAST OF). Including the last stanza (which borrows the words “Genitori Genitoque”—Procedenti ab utroque, Compar” from the first two strophes of the second sequence of Adam of St. Victor for Pentecost) the hymn comprises six stanzas appearing in the manuscripts

Pange, lingua, gloriosi corporis mysterium,
Sanguinisque pretiosi quem in mundi pretium
Fructus ventris generosi Rex effudit gentium.

Written in accentual rhythm, it imitates the triumphant march of the hymn of Fortunatus, and like it is divided in the Roman Breviary into stanzas of six lines whose alternating triple rhyming is declared by Pimont to be a new feature in medieval hymnody. In the  Roman Breviary the hymn is assigned to both Vespers, but of old the Church of Salisbury placed it in Matins, that of Toulouse in First Vespers only, that of Saint-Germain- des-Prés at Second Vespers only, and that of Strasburg at Compline. It is sung in the procession to the repository on Holy Thursday and also in the procession of Corpus Christi and in that of the Forty Hours’ Adoration.[1]

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[1] Henry, H. (1911). Pange Lingua Gloriosi. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved September 3, 2009 from New Advent: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11441c.htm

Note: For more information click here.


Your Love Is Strong

Sunday, July 19, 2009 \AM\.\Sun\.

A song for a Sunday afternoon:


The Cure For Pain

Friday, July 17, 2009 \PM\.\Fri\.

A song for a Friday afternoon:


Stars and Stripes Forever

Saturday, June 27, 2009 \AM\.\Sat\.

Something for the weekend.  Let’s start getting in the mood for the Fourth with a little SousaStars and Stripes Forever performed by Vladimir Horowitz  in 1945.


The Gallant Forty-Twa

Saturday, May 2, 2009 \AM\.\Sat\.

Something for the weekend.  The Clancy Brothers singing The Gallant Forty-Twa.  The song is about the Black Watch, more formally known as the Forty-Second Highland Regiment.  This song was quite popular in Newfoundland, my mother’s homeland, as many of the men during the Second World War served with the Black Watch of Canada.  The Sassanach government in London dissolved the regiment in 2006 and now it is only a battalion, but in time of need I am sure the world will hear of the Black Watch again.


Christ Jesus Victor

Saturday, April 11, 2009 \AM\.\Sat\.

christ-victorious

hitler-dead

Something for the weekend.  To Jesus Christ, Our Sovereign King.  The hymn was written by a German-American priest, Father Martin Hellriegel, in 1941, specifically to rebut the claims of the Third Reich with the eternal message of Christ.  Here is a great essay with the story behind the hymn.  I find this comforting.  Evil often has its hour in the sun, to strut and parade, but, inevitably, Christ is always the final victor.


The Past Is Another Country…Music Edition

Saturday, March 28, 2009 \AM\.\Sat\.

(h/t Commonweal)


Downtown

Saturday, March 21, 2009 \AM\.\Sat\.

Something for the weekend. The endlessly talented Petula Clark singing Downtown.  This song got a huge amount of play in the mid-Sixties, and I enjoyed it immensely as a child.  Not great music, but certainly fun music.

Now compare and contrast with this recent version by Emma Bunton:

Myself, I prefer the older, less Spicey version, but perhaps I am mistaken?


Easy on the Ears, Easy on the Eyes

Sunday, March 15, 2009 \PM\.\Sun\.

While we’re discussing classical music and objective beauty, it is perhaps time to address the phenomenon of the “babe violinist”. No, I’m not talking about some kind of Vanessa Mae type with an electric violin and a wet t-shirt. I’m talking about women with real God-given gifts, musical and otherwise.

My own personal favorite is Hilary Hahn, here playing Franz Schubert’s Der Erlkonig:

This is a perfect show-off piece, which allows you to hear just how good Ms. Hahn is. Her albums with Vaughn Williams’ The Lark Ascending and her various Bach performances are all worth hearing.

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Jupiter and Jollity

Saturday, March 14, 2009 \AM\.\Sat\.

Something for the weekend.  Gustav Holst’s Jupiter, the bringer of jollity, my favorite part of The Planets.  Some things become so popular that we tend to take them for granted.  I am afraid that is what has happened to some degree with The Planets.  It is a magnificent piece of music and places Holst in the top ten list of composers of all time in my estimation.


Serious Musicians

Tuesday, March 10, 2009 \PM\.\Tue\.

Since the blog has, of late, become the site of intense discussions on the quality of rock versus classical music, I think it’s important that I as a classical music partisan take a music appreciation moment and recognize that while rock may in some ways be a limited genre compared to classical music, it is none the less capable of evoking deep and powerful human emotions, and many rock musicians are in fact very talented and deeply influenced by the classical masters:

Read the rest of this entry »


It’s. Only. A. Rock. Band.

Sunday, March 8, 2009 \PM\.\Sun\.

Ok, so I liked their latest album as much as anybody else — but what is it that causes U2’s fans to indulge in such theological embellishment? — Consider America magazine’s Tom Beaudoin:

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Mad Men

Saturday, March 7, 2009 \PM\.\Sat\.

Mad Men is an American Movie Classics (AMC) television drama series is set in the early 1960s at the fictional Sterling Cooper advertising agency on New York City’s Madison Avenue.  The show centers on Don Draper (played by Jon Hamm), a high-level advertising executive, and the people in his life in and out of the office. It also depicts the changing social mores of 1960s America.  Mad Men has received wide critical acclaim, particularly for its historical authenticity and visual style.  Mad Men is the advertising term for people in the industry that work on Madison Avenue, ie, Madison Avenue Men shortened to Mad Men.

Read the rest of this entry »


The Hot Asphalt

Saturday, February 28, 2009 \AM\.\Sat\.

Something for the weekend.  For a wonder I am posting an Irish song about something other than rebellion against the British!  The incomparable Wolfe Tones singing The Hot Asphalt.  I trust this song will be appreciated by all who have ever worked on a road crew or who have ever had a family member who worked on a road crew.  It is tough work, necessary work, and, until this song, unsung work.  Here is another set of lyrics for the song.


Battle Cries of Freedom

Saturday, February 7, 2009 \AM\.\Sat\.

Something for the weekend.  The Battle Cry of Freedom was a popular song North and South during the Civil War.  Of course, they sang different lyrics to the song.  The Union version was such a favorite among the Union troops, that President Lincoln, in a letter to George F. Root, the composer, wrote:  “You have done more than a hundred generals and a thousand  orators. If you could not shoulder a musket in defense of your country, you certainly have served her through your songs.”


O Holy Night

Wednesday, December 24, 2008 \PM\.\Wed\.

For this Holy Night, O Holy Night sung by Renee Fleming.


Veni Emmanuel

Saturday, December 20, 2008 \AM\.\Sat\.

Something for the weekend.  A stirring rendition of O Come, O Come Emmanuel.


Return of Gregorian Chant

Monday, December 15, 2008 \PM\.\Mon\.

This past Summer a conference took place on the shores of Lake Michigan on reinvigorating the use of Gregorian Chant in our liturgies.  The Reform of the Reform continues.

Deo gratias!

(Biretta Tip: New Liturgical Movement)