AM VERY PLEASED to announce to readers of Views from the Choir Loft that the CDs announced at the launch of my Sacred Choral Works are now available here, at the composer page (scroll down to the bottom). These 3 full-length compact discs feature recordings of nearly every score in the 273-page book.
Recently, David Warren published an interesting article called “Oh Had I Jubal’s Lyre,” in the course of which he says:
The theme of my life as a music listener has been, “getting behind the baroque,” to the recovery of what seems to me the chaste beauty of more ancient polyphony, and chant. Once one has truly heard this, one begins to realize that self-exalting man is vulgar; that he is trapped in the vulgar; that he cannot rise. We are surrounded today by deafening sonic walls of obnoxious popular music; music actually at war with the melodic and harmonious. …
Through the centuries, and even to the present day, the faith of the Church has been communicated by music, as much as by words; the very Word, through the Church, embodied in music. … The Mass in its nature is sung, chanted; and the innumerable musical settings of the Mass are intrinsic to its meaning, to its universality, to the dimensionality: it is not “just words.” …
I am convinced that the recovery of the musical traditions, within Holy Church, can do more to evangelize than any quarrelling with the world. For what we must do is not argue, but proclaim; and music in its nature does not argue. It proclaims.
I do love the Baroque, and I have my favorite Romantic composers as well (Bruckner, above all, comes to mind), but I tend to agree with Warren’s view that there is a special beauty to the original sources of sacred music, and a special fittingness for the liturgy. It is not surprising that the Popes frequently mention “chant and polyphony” in the same breath, and it is no less surprising that some of the most popular composers today have renewed their friendship with the Muses by immersing themselves in the idiom of medieval and even Renaissance music.
These are exactly my own sentiments as a cantor and composer; these are the guiding principles I have always followed, thanks to the grace of God who gave me good teachers, good books, and good music to listen to. And I hope that people who investigate my compositions will find them animated by the same spirit of holy fear, earnest pleading, and gracefulness.