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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The soul is distracted from that which is sung by a chant that is employed for the purpose of giving pleasure. But if the singer chant for the sake of devotion, he pays more attention to what he says, both because he lingers more thereon, and because, as Augustine remarks (Confess. x, 33), “each affection of our spirit, according to its variety, has its own appropriate measure in the voice, and singing, by some hidden correspondence wherewith it is stirred.” The same applies to the hearers, for even if some of them understand not what is sung, yet they understand why it is sung, namely, for God's glory: and this is enough to arouse their devotion.
— St. Thomas Aquinas

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PDF Download • Immac. Conception Music Booklet
published 8 December 2016 by Jeff Ostrowski

583 Mary IMAGE OW SIMPLE is a “simple” Mass? Here at FSSP.la, we do a lot of polyphony. We also do tons of hymns and modern music. 1 But every so often we have a “simple” Mass, consisting of only plainsong.

When you download the booklet, I think you’ll agree that even a “simple” Mass is not that simple:

    * *  PDF Booklet • IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

By the way, make sure to read the translation of the Offertory Hymn. A more gorgeous text does not exist.



NOTES FROM THIS ARTICLE:

1   Most of our volunteer singers cannot read music, yet they are starting to sound really good. I recently heard a Cathedral choir sing Palestrina, Victoria, and plainsong for a televised Mass. All their singers are paid, yet—and this amazed me—our volunteer choir sounds better! That reminds us that paid singers don’t necessarily guarantee a beautiful performance.

Sometimes we’re so “close” to our choirs we can’t accurately judge how they sound. Shortly after we got married, I sketched my wife’s face in Conté crayon. I thought the result was awful, but she made me preserve it. I found it in the garage, and after all these years it looks a lot better than I had initially thought. The same is true of choirs, and a guest conductor can often give a nice perspective.