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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“In spite of what it is currently called, the music of these songs is not modern: this musical style is not new, but has been played in the most profane places and surroundings (cabarets, music halls, often for more or less lascivious dances with foreign names). The people are led on to rock or swing. They all feel an urge to dance about. That sort of “body language” is certainly alien to our Western culture, unfavorable to contemplation and its origins are rather suspect. Most of the time our congregations, which already find it hard not to confuse the crochets and the quavers in a 6/8 bar, do not respect the rhythm; then one no longer feels like dancing, but with the rhythm gone to pieces, the habitual poorness of the melodic line becomes all the more noticeable.”
— Unnamed choirmaster (Northern France) circa 1986

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PDF Download • Franz Liszt and Gregorian Chant
published 17 May 2019 by Jeff Ostrowski

ANY HAVE ASKED about the “corrupt” chant editions posted by CCWatershed in 2008. At that time, we were practically the only organization to value such editions, and people wanted to know: “What is the purpose of posting such books? Are we supposed to sing from them?” The short answer is: It is crucial to know what books the people were looking at in historical times. Nicolas Dufetel understands this all too well, and consulted the correct books for his fantastic article about Franz Liszt. It turns out Liszt was “obsessed” with trying to unlock the secrets of plainsong modality and rhythm, which at that time were not fully understood.

The Gregorian sheets with Liszt’s margin notes are not to be missed:

    * *  PDF Download • Article by Nicolas Dufetel

84559 Franz Liszt Gregorian Chant MSS


This document is courtesy of the HAL website, under the “progressive and awesome” Creative Commons which allows authors to share things but still receive full credit and legal protection.

Citation: Nicolas Dufetel. Religious Workshop and Gregorian Chant: The Janus Liszt, or How to Make New with the Old. James Deaville et Michael Saffle. Liszt’s Legacies. Based on papers presented at the International Liszt Conference held at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada, Pendragon Press, pp. 43-71, 2014.

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