OW SIMPLE is a “simple” Mass? Here at FSSP.la, we do a lot of polyphony. We also do tons of hymns and modern music. 1 But every so often we have a “simple” Mass, consisting of only plainsong.
When you download the booklet, I think you’ll agree that even a “simple” Mass is not that simple:
By the way, make sure to read the translation of the Offertory Hymn. A more gorgeous text does not exist.
NOTES FROM THIS ARTICLE:
1 Most of our volunteer singers cannot read music, yet they are starting to sound really good. I recently heard a Cathedral choir sing Palestrina, Victoria, and plainsong for a televised Mass. All their singers are paid, yet—and this amazed me—our volunteer choir sounds better! That reminds us that paid singers don’t necessarily guarantee a beautiful performance.
Sometimes we’re so “close” to our choirs we can’t accurately judge how they sound. Shortly after we got married, I sketched my wife’s face in Conté crayon. I thought the result was awful, but she made me preserve it. I found it in the garage, and after all these years it looks a lot better than I had initially thought. The same is true of choirs, and a guest conductor can often give a nice perspective.