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 12 March 1908, Feast of St. Gregory the Great, the complete publication of the “Graduale” was issued by the Vatican Press. That very day, Dom Pothier solemnly presented the first copy to the Holy Father. Pius X wished to be the first to see the new book; he opened it at random, at page 128 of the supplement “pro aliquibus locis”—the Introit of the new Feast of Our lady of Lourdes. The Pope sang it with perfect taste to the last note.
— A witness of the papal audience writing circa 1915

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Brave Schola Director Posts iPhone Recording
published 30 September 2019 by Jeff Ostrowski

NE OF THE CHOIRS I direct has rehearsal every Thursday night. We did something rare on 26 September 2019—we canceled rehearsal. Instead, the singers from that choir sang for a special Mass, since it was the feast of the Jesuit Martyrs of North America: SS. John de Brébeuf, Isaac Jogues, and companions.

The balance of voices isn’t quite right—as we would expect from an iPhone resting in somebody’s pocket—but here’s a little Palestrina:


And here’s some Guerrero—with the normal caveats 1 about trying to capture choral sound:


Sometimes it seems like evil will prevail. Sometimes it seems we choirmasters have so many obstacles to overcome. Reading the lives of the Jesuit Martyrs of North America will remind us that serving Jesus Christ is all that matters. Let us repeat the prayer of St. Gabriel Lalemant during his martyrdom: “Jesus, have mercy on us!”



NOTES FROM THIS ARTICLE:

1   Choral sound cannot accurately be captured by microphones, and necessarily sounds “harsh” when reproduced on an iPhone or some other device. Nothing can substitute for the physical presence of a true choral sound.