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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On leaving the Vatican after his abdication: “I was deeply moved. The cordiality of the farewell, also the tears of my collaborators. [His voice breaks with emotion.] On the roof of the Casa Bonus Pastor there was written in huge letters «Dio gliene renda merito» [“May God reward you”]. (The Pope weeps) I was really deeply moved. In any case, while I hovered overhead and began to hear the bells of Rome tolling, I knew that I could be thankful and my state of mind on the most profound level was gratitude.”
— Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI (23 May 2016)

Brace Yourself • “Raw” Recordings from Solemn Mass
published 25 April 2017 by Jeff Ostrowski

OSEF HOFMANN never cared much about recordings. We hear his playing mainly from “pirated” recordings—made without his knowledge—or from “test pressings” which end abruptly in the middle of a piece. It matters not; I’d rather hear one trill by Hofmann than everything Claudio Arrau ever recorded. Something remarkable happens when people don’t realize they’re being recorded. Yesterday, a generous lady posted some snippets of a Solemn High Mass that took place last Sunday. This was at the new FSSP Apostolate in Los Angeles. The singing was by our volunteer Latin Mass choir!

Eastertide Alleluia (before Gospel) with a setting by Victoria:

A live snippet from the procession:

Palestrina’s setting of the Sanctus:

A live snippet of the “Vidi Aquam,” intoned by Fr. Gerard Saguto, our District Superior:

The Sung “Confiteor,” before the Reception of Holy Communion. 1

Organ interlude during the Offertory:

The lovely setting of “O Filii et Filiae” by Msgr. Jules Van Nuffel:

Snippet of the “Agnus Dei” by Guillaume Du Fay (d. 1474) using the same CANTUS FIRMUS as the Alleluia by Victoria (see above):

The microphones never do justice to the choral sound. For example, listen to how the ladies sound in the following clip, from Viadan’s GLORIA. I was there. I can assure you sounded 50 billion times more glorious in real life. This recording does not accurately represent the choral sound. I was there.


1   Fr. Ronald Krisman, formerly Executive Director of the Bishops’ Liturgy Committee, has asserted that the “Prayers at the Foot of the Altar” were sung in the Traditional Mass, but he’s incorrect. The “Prayers at the Foot of the Altar” were never sung. The only time the “Confíteor” is sung is prior to the distribution of Holy Communion.