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)

Brébeuf Hymnal • “Behind the Scenes”
published 22 July 2018 by Jeff Ostrowski

4713 • HYMNAL COVER • The St. Jean de Brébeuf Hymnal HAT HAS GARNERED attention for the Brébeuf Hymnal has been our inclusion of contemporary material by distinguished composers and poets. Many hymns were commissioned specifically for the Brébeuf Hymnal.

But the Brébeuf Hymnal has so much more.

For example, this book contains ancient English hymn translations never before revealed. 1 For obvious reasons, the committee does not want the research tables released—but I have obtained permission to share a brief example with you:

    * *  PDF EXAMPLE of a “Research Chart”

Notice how the Roman Catholic translation from 1598AD closely matches the literal translation:

88163 Brebeuf Hymnal SNEAK PEEK

Creating a metrical translation like that—which was designed to be sung to the same plainsong melody as the Latin version—is incredibly difficult. I will provide more information about the brave Catholic who created that translation another day.

Very soon, the Brébeuf Hymnal will be sent off for final proofreading. The work of half a decade—finally!—has entered the final stages of production.  Laus Deo!


1   Much of what we’ve discovered cannot be placed in the book because there simply isn’t enough room. This is rather frustrating, because the research tables with which I was involved required hours of painstaking work to create. However, at the end of the day, we only included that which was the most excellent—nothing but the very best.