About this blogger:
A theorist, organist, and conductor, Jeff Ostrowski holds his B.M. in Music Theory from the University of Kansas (2004), and did graduate work in Musicology. He serves as choirmaster for the new FSSP parish in Los Angeles, where he resides with his wife and children.
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“I should not like to be too harsh on this commission’s labors. It numbered a certain number of genuine scholars and more than one experienced and judicious pastor. Under different circumstances, they might have accomplished excellent work. Unfortunately, on the one hand, a deadly error in judgment placed the official leadership of this committee in the hands of a man who—though generous and brave—was not very knowledgeable: Cardinal Larcaro. He was utterly incapable of resisting the maneuvers of the mealy-mouthed scoundrel that the Neapolitan Vincentian, Annibale, a man as bereft of culture as he was of basic honesty, soon revealed himself to be.”
— Fr. Bouyer, a liturgical expert appointed by Pope Paul VI

Pavane for a Dead Princess — Maurice Ravel
published 16 July 2013 by Jeff Ostrowski

658 North American Martyrs ACH DAY only has so much time. There are thousands of things I would like to accomplish, but I end up doing only a few, and that’s difficult to accept. One thing I’ve wanted to do for years is write about the Jesuit Martyrs of North America and help make their heroism better known. I have failed in this task. It’s very hard to find the time. As my dad would say, “Time is a premium.”

Anyway, one excerpt from the life of St. Gabriel Lalemant comes to mind. John A. O’Brien wrote that Lalemant was “grateful to his family, most particularly to his mother, for a childhood and youth of rare happiness and love.” Similar words were written about St. Charles Garnier and his family. More on this below.

GREAT MUSIC is powerful, and truly can move the emotions. Randomly, totally out of the blue, Ravel’s Pavane for a Dead Princess came to my mind. I remember hearing my brother play this piece. My brother is scheduled to be ordained a priest this coming May. He’s a truly great person and friend. His interests included conducting, piano, organ, singing, history, theology, and every form of sports you can imagine. He seemed to have every player memorized, be it tennis, basketball, football, baseball, etc.

Here’s a rendition by Shura Cherkassky, a pupil of the great Josef Hofmann, but I prefer the way Mark used to play it:

      * *  Pavane for a Dead Princess [mp3]

I cannot begin to express the emotions that are brought back when I hear this melody, and remember the sacrifices my parents made to provide for us children “a childhood and youth of rare happiness and love.” I suppose that makes me a wuss.