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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Much of the beauty of the older forms was lost and the hymns did not really become classical. We have reason to hope that the present reform of the breviary will also give us back the old form of the hymns. But meanwhile it seems necessary to keep the later text. This is the one best known, it is given in all hymnbooks and is still the only authorized form. Only in one case have we printed the older text of a hymn, number 57, “Urbs Jerusalem.” The modern form of this begins: “Caelestis urbs Jerusalem.” But in this case the people who changed it in the seventeenth century did not even keep its metre; so the later version cannot be sung to the old, exceedingly beautiful tune.
— Fr. Adrian Fortescue (1913)

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The Actual Authentic Writing Of Palestrina
published 3 December 2014 by Jeff Ostrowski

OLIN MAWBY former Master of Music at Westminster Cathedral, travels to Rome in this video, letting you see an original manuscript of Palestrina. Also, he interviews Domenico Cardinal Bartolucci and Msgr. Philip Whitmore. (Skip to the 12:45 marker to see Palestrina’s authentic manuscript.)


Palestrina is not my favorite Renaissance composer: too vanilla for me, most of the time.  I much prefer Victoria, Marenzio, Lassus, Morales, and several others. By the way, Mawby mentions the fact that “Palestrina” is not his name—it’s where he lived. I believe the same is true of a fantastic Renaissance master Verdelot.