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 Vatican Gradual cheered our hearts by restoring the authentic form of the hymns therein. But there are very few hymns in the Gradual. We looked forward to the continuation of the same work, where it was so much more needed, in the Vesperal, and then in the new Breviary. Alas, the movement, for the present, has stopped. The new Vesperal and then the Breviary contain Urban VIII’s versions. So at present we have the odd situation that in the Gradual the old form of the hymns is restored; but when the same hymn (for instance “Vexilia regis”) comes again in the Vesperal, we must sing the seventeenth-century mangling.
— Adrian Fortescue (25 March 1916)

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Brave Schola Director Posts “Live” Recording
published 8 February 2018 by Jeff Ostrowski

EAR AFTER YEAR goes by, and I never cease to be fascinated by recordings of choral music—they always sound terrible! They seldom reproduce the true choral sound with anything approaching accuracy. I’m physically present, so I know how good it sounds; but when I go home and hear a recording I recoil in horror. Which should I believe: My own ears, or the pocket recorder? I ask myself again and again, without ever becoming reconciled to this bizarre phenomenon.

Someone recorded snippets of our FSSP choir singing (28 January 2018):


The ladies singing the Gradual psalm tone was gorgeous in real life. The “live” pocket recording sounds terrible by comparison.

Believe me. I was there.