HEN I WAS IN CANADA over the summer, I made a detour when I was visiting churches in downtown Toronto to stop by the Church of St. Mary Magdalene, a “high” Anglo-Catholic church where Healey Willan used to be the director of music. There is also a park next to the church named after Willan. He was an Anglo-Canadian organist and composer. He wrote more than 800 works including operas, symphonies, chamber music, a concerto and other pieces; he is best known for his sacred compositions. The music program at St. Mary Magdalene flourished under his direction and was considered a model for all Anglican churches in North America. Here is what he has to say about plainchant (starting from 13:00):
I came across this interview recently and you can find the second part of it on YouTube as well. Dr. Willan clearly expressed that he thinks that “plainchant is the most suitable music for all forms of religious type”. He also stressed the importance of the Propers! Sing the Propers!!!