AVE YOU EVER WONDERED what church music in the Far East sounds like? The following recording was captured live recently during a Mass sung by Vox Antiqua, my new choir in Hong Kong. This is a Mass setting by Fr. Si-Yan Tang of Macau. It is a “missa brevis” for two voices, containing three movements: Kyrie, Sanctus and Agnus Dei. While Vox Antiqua mainly focus on promoting Western Church Music, (in fact we are working really hard on Stanford’s Beati Quorum Via and it is not the easiest piece for a 3-month-old choir to learn) we also try our best to pursue musical excellence in the local sacred music. You can follow us on Facebook and YouTube.
R. SI-YAN- TANG was born in Macau in 1939. He is the nephew of the late Archbishop Dominic Tang of Canton. During his time at St. Joseph Seminary, Fr. Tang studied music with the Austrian composer, Fr. Guilherme Schmid, SDB. Fr. Tang was ordained to the priesthood in 1964. He has been an active composer, especially composing sacred music in Chinese for the faithful in Hong Kong and Macau. He is also a very talented visual artist, skillful in Chinese and Western painting and Chinese calligraphy. Fr. Tang continues to serve as an assistant parish priest in the Diocese of Macau nowadays.
On a similar note, I recently discovered a setting of “Ave Maria“ (PDF) by Mons. Antonio Chi-Ming Lau on the website of the Sacred Music Commission of the Diocese of Hong Kong. This is a 4-parts piece with organ accompaniment. The piece is written mainly in a Chinese style, but you will also find a fugue towards the end of the piece. Mons. Lau was also a student of Fr. Schmid, and I shared a recording of his work a few weeks ago in this post.