Pope Francis said famously: “To dialogue entails a cordial reception, not a prior condemnation.” The following brief utterances of mine are offered in that spirit. Pope Saint Pius X called the sacred liturgy “the primary and indispensable source of the true Christian spirit.” If the reformers had told the fathers of Vatican II they desired […]
Writing excellent music is easier in four voices than three. We often sing from MATRI DIVINAE GRATIAE, a 3-voice collection by Kevin Allen for Soprano, Alto, and Bass. Someone made a recording of my volunteer choir singing “Si Ambulávero” (from that collection). This “raw recording” starts toward the end of the psalm tone then launches […]
A thoughtful priest from another country wrote me a magnificent message praising a PDF comparison chart I recently posted. It deals with “staffless” CARMEN GREGORIANUM (Gregorian Chant). Download it for free by scrolling to the bottom of this article. Of course, I hope you will read the article instead of just scrolling past it.
As we approach the holy season of Lent, the prayers and readings become more lengthy. When we arrive at Easter, the prayers and readings will become extremely brief. As we get closer to Lent, some of the music becomes quite somber. I can’t think of a more somber piece than the INTROIT for Sexagesima Sunday. […]
Regarding the hymn tune called “ST MARK”—have you ever heard or sung this? If you scroll towards the bottom of this recent article, you can hear my choir (which is made up 100% of volunteers) singing it. Some people say the ST MARK melody sounds a little ‘protestant.’ What do you think? I rather like […]
You can download my official résumé.
It’s possible to sing Carmen Gregorianum with a drone note (a.k.a. “ison”) but is this always a good idea? I’ve heard it done very poorly. We tried singing GLORIA IX with an ison last Sunday. Feel free to listen to this excerpt (Mp3) and let me know your thoughts.
“There is, then, in the Church, in the Catholic liturgy, a music that, as we have just stated, is both a word and a song, a music rich and powerful, although simple and natural, a music that is not self-seeking, which does not attend to itself but comes forth as the spontaneous utterance of religious […]
Those who celebrate VESPERS each week may wish to download my organ accompaniment booklet (25 pages) for the 2nd Sunday after Epiphany. This was originally released about a year ago (link), but minor improvements have been made.
Several singers from my choir recently recorded this beautiful hymn (Mp3), using famous lyrics from the Brébeuf Hymnal. How well do you know your hymns? Can you name that tune? If so, please email us. If you correctly name that tune, I’ll declare: “You really know your hymns!”
Pipe organ (with voices) or unaccompanied SATB? Which do you prefer? Yesterday at Mass, my volunteer choir gave you an opportunity to compare “apples to apples.” Simply click here and compare the first verse with the second. For the record, that melody is called by various names: ALTONA, VOM HIMMEL HOCH, ERFURT, and so on.
In the past, I have attempted to determine the origins of the “simple” Salve Regina chant. When it comes to the so-called “restored” plainsong books, the earliest instance I can find (of the simple version) is in the LIBER RESPONSORIALIS, published in 1895, a marvelous book based upon the groundbreaking research of Dom Joseph Pothier. […]
Over the last 70 years, ST VENANTIUS has fallen out of favor. One reason might be that many harmonizations of it are “chunky.” I was pleased to see the Brébeuf Hymnal adopted the harmonization by Dom Gregory Murray (probably the finest ever created for ST VENANTIUS). This morning, I created this pipe organ recording. The […]
Anyone who wishes to may download the Organ Accompaniment Booklet (22 pages) I created for FIRST VESPERS of January 1st. That feast has various names, including “In Octava Nativitatis Domini.” These organ accompaniment booklets take forever to make!
A few minutes ago, I uploaded an English SATB version of “CORDE NATUS EX PARENTIS” (an ancient Christmas hymn by Prudentius). A nifty Latin version is also available. The quickest way to download either is to visit #668 in the Portal and scroll down to where it says: Additional information about Hymn 668. Many people […]