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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“Since the ability of Francisco Guerrero is now abundantly known to all […] he shall henceforth act as master of the boys so long as: ( 1) he must teach them to read, write, and to sing the responsories, versicles, antiphons, lessons, and kalends, and other parts of divine service; (2) he shall teach them plainchant, harmony, and counterpoint, his instruction in counterpoint to include both the art of adding a melody to a plainsong and to an already existing piece of polyphonic music; (3) he shall always clothe them decently and properly, see that they wear good shoes, and ensure that their beds are kept perfectly clean; (4) he shall feed them the same food that he himself eats and never take money from them for anything having to do with their services in church or their musical instruction…” [cont’d]
— Málaga Cathedral Document (11 September 1551)

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Resplendent Christmas Piece for Two Voices!
published 22 November 2016 by Jeff Ostrowski

HRISTMAS IS APPROACHING. And let me explain why you’ll want the following piece. First of all, it’s gorgeous and incorporates Christmas carols 1 in a fascinating way. Moreover, complete verses are provided for Christmas and Epiphany, making it possible to use this piece for multiple Sundays. I couldn’t help recording a simulation video; please excuse my voice on the really high soprano notes:

REHEARSAL VIDEOS for each individual voice have been created—locate #6800.


Download the ORGANIST SCORE and VOCALIST SCORE at #6800.

MAKE SURE you pray through the English translation included in the vocal score. These lines—written by the 5th-century Christian poet, Sedulius—are tremendously powerful. The full poem has twenty-three verses, and each stanza begins with a successive letter of the alphabet, which you can see. However, it never works out perfectly because the Breviary eliminates some stanzas and adds doxologies (disrupting the poem by Sedulius).

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NOTES FROM THIS ARTICLE:

1   Some will be surprised that Fr. Nicolas du Peron (a French-Canadian Roman Catholic priest) appreciated these carols, but we must remember that Canada was an English colony for many centuries. I suspect there’s much “co-mingling” of English/French. Benjamin Franklin wanted England to give Canada to the USA in the aftermath of the Revolutionary War, but that didn’t occur.