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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"Since such is the nature of man that he cannot easily without external means be raised to meditation on divine things, on that account holy Mother Church has instituted certain rites, namely that certain things be pronounced in a subdued tone (canon and words of consecration) and others in a louder tone; she has likewise made use of ceremonies such as mystical blessings, lights, incense, vestments, and many other things of this kind in accordance with apostolic teaching and tradition, whereby both the majesty of so great a sacrifice might be commended, and the minds of the faithful excited by these visible signs of religion and piety to the contemplation of the most sublime matters which are hidden in this sacrifice."
— Council of Trent (Session XXII)

PDF Download • Kyrie “O Magnum Mysterium”
published 18 December 2017 by Jeff Ostrowski

ACK in 2015, I created individual rehearsal videos for “O Magnum Mysterium,” and tens of thousands have downloaded them. But the season of Christmas is often short, and that motet can’t be sung at other times of the year. Can we keep singing it? Well, let’s remember that—twenty years after composing “O Magnum Mysterium”—Fr. Tomás Luis de Victoria wrote an entire Mass based on that motet. In my opinion, this setting fits the Sundays after Epiphany well.

Earlier today, I recorded the KYRIE (#3595).

But please pardon my screechy soprano notes!

REHEARSAL VIDEOS for each individual voice await you at #3595.

Download the PDF by following the #3595 link provided above.

Did you notice how Victoria adds variety?

First Point of Imitation: Soprano, Alto, Tenor Bass

Second Point of Imitation: Bass, Tenor, Alto, Soprano

Final Point of Imitation: Tenor, Soprano, Alto, Bass

Something to which we dedicated much time in musicology graduate school was “text underlay.” This incredibly complex subject becomes even more so when we understand that printers sometimes changed the composer’s underlay. Examining the original part books, 1 we often see the underlay as “Ky-rie”—and some have argued that it was pronounced as two syllables. I took this into consideration toward the end of the piece.

We will probably do a Mass by Victoria at the Sacred Music Symposium this coming June, but at this time nothing official has been released.


1   I really hope you’ll download the PDF, because I included an example from 1592AD.