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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Much of the beauty of the older forms was lost and the hymns did not really become classical. We have reason to hope that the present reform of the breviary will also give us back the old form of the hymns. But meanwhile it seems necessary to keep the later text. This is the one best known, it is given in all hymnbooks and is still the only authorized form. Only in one case have we printed the older text of a hymn, number 57, “Urbs Jerusalem.” The modern form of this begins: “Caelestis urbs Jerusalem.” But in this case the people who changed it in the seventeenth century did not even keep its metre; so the later version cannot be sung to the old, exceedingly beautiful tune.
— Fr. Adrian Fortescue (1913)

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Musical Creed — Text From New Roman Missal
published 26 February 2014 by Jeff Ostrowski

AST FRIDAY I put aside a few hours to compose this musical setting of the Creed, dedicated to my brother, Deacon Mark Ostrowski. Below, I explain what I was trying to do from a compositional standpoint. Yesterday afternoon, I recorded a practice video, so you can hear it. Please pardon the bad singing (when I’m playing the organ, my mouth often gets too close to the microphone):


Before I explain why I composed this Creed, here are the files you can download:

      * *  St. Felix Creed • Congregational Printout

      * *  St. Felix Creed • Choir Score (Modern Notation)

      * *  St. Felix Creed • Choir Score (Gregorian)

      * *  St. Felix Creed • Organ Accompaniment Score

HERE’S WHAT I TRIED to accomplish in writing this piece:

1.) I wanted this setting to be interesting, so people don’t get bored after a few weeks. On the other hand, I kept the congregational sections in a low range, with somewhat simple melodies.

2.) With respect to switching between sections, the Creed is very long, so I tried to “mix it up.” If it goes back and forth in a predictable, monotonous way, people get nauseated.

3.) The congregational sections tend toward a “brighter” reciting tone, while the cantor parts hover around a “darker” reciting tone — again, to keep things interesting!

4.) I treated the cadences differently each time, rather than doing the same thing a billion times, over and over.

      * *  St. Felix Creed • Audio Practice Recording (Mp3 File)


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