HIS YEAR’S Symposium will be spectacular, and the response—from all over the world—has been overwhelming. The musical program, which is close to being finalized, almost seems a direct response to an article I wrote last January entitled True Vs. False Diversity. We have a bewildering variety of styles, and new works by famous composers will be revealed.
The Credo, arranged by Chaumonot, uses 14th-century polyphony by a Catholic priest named Guillaume de Machaut, who died in 1377AD:
Fr. Machaut’s harmonies begin at the 0:28 marker:
TWO YOUNG LADIES IN HIGH SCHOOL, Sarah and Jacqueline, generously helped record the rehearsal videos for these 14th-century harmonies. Sing through each individual line (cf. #5984) because the power is revealed “horizontally.” We created the rehearsal videos to help choirmasters, who have such a difficult vocation! Just the other day, I was pondering how many things music directors do behind the scenes that nobody sees. Even staying in contact with the choir members—phone calls, text messages, emails, and so forth—requires much time and energy. It’s truly a “twenty-four seven” job.
The PDF score mentions how Canon Machaut lived during a difficult period of church history. The Avignon papacy and the Western Schism were both longer in duration than I’d realized. The times in which we live are also difficult, especially from the standpoint of certain members of the hierarchy. Last month, for example, I read a scandalous interview with a high-ranking cardinal that can only be described as disgusting and heretical. For myself, I find it comforting to study history and recall how much the Church has withstood.
Good Catholics in those days sought divine assistance, and we must do the same. Moreover, when you examine the 14th-century Credo used for Chaumonot’s edition, you’ll agree they certainly knew how to create beautiful manuscripts in those days!