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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A lot of the favoured new settings are musically illiterate, almost is if they were written by semi-trained teenagers, getting to grips with musical rudiments. The style is stodgy and sentimental, tonally and rhythmically stilted, melodically inane and adored by Catholic clergy “of a certain age.” Some Catholic dioceses run courses for wannabe composers to perpetuate this style. It is a scandal. People with hardly any training and experience of even the basic building blocks of music have been convinced that there is a place for their puerile stumblings and fumblings in the modern Catholic Church because real musicians are elitist and off-putting.
— James MacMillan (20 November 2013)

“Te Saeculorum” • Simple, Sensational, SATB
published 30 October 2015 by Jeff Ostrowski

AM ALWAYS SEARCHING FOR brief SATB pieces that can be used throughout the liturgical year. The following seems to have been written for the institution of the FEAST OF CHRIST THE KING, 1 but can be sung at any time. The piece alternates back and forth between chant & polyphony, just like this setting of the “Ave Maris Stella.” Examine the chant used by Mercier and you’ll see it comes from Mocquereau’s 1903 Liber Usualis. This suggests that Mocquereau’s edition continued to be employed by French musicians in spite of the Editio Vaticana publications which began appearing in 1905.

    * *  PDF Download • “Te Saeculorum” (MERCIER)

When you listen to this rehearsal video, do you hear how the composer has mixed together in a marvelous fashion the plainsong melody?

That rehearsal video uses words the first time; but when the refrain is repeated, it’s sung in Solfège. It also provides assistance for counting the rhythm.

Rehearsal Videos :

EQUAL VOICES : YouTube   •   Mp3 Audio

SOPRANO : YouTube   •   Audio

ALTO : YouTube   •   Audio

TENOR : YouTube   •   Audio

BASS : YouTube   •   Audio

When teaching the chant verses, you can use this accompaniment.


1   Pope Pius XI—who also wrote about the Sacrament of Matrimony—established the Feast of Christ the King on 11 December 1925, by means of an encyclical letter called “Quas primas.”