Saturday, August 29, 2009

Twenty-second Sunday, Ordinary
Order of Music

Saint Mary’s Parish, California
Order of Music-Aug.30, 2009
22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Introit Antiphon: S “I call to You…” (Simple Choral Gradual/R.Rice)
E SPEAK, LORD (Uszler)

Opening Rites: S Misa Oecumenica (Proulx)
E Kyrie/Glory to God (New Danish Amen Mass-Culbreth)

Responsorial:SE Respond & Acclaim

Gospel Accl.: S Misa Oecumenica (Proulx)
E Alleluia (New Danish Amen Mass-Culbreth)

Offertory:S ALL GOOD GIFTS (Keil) from Epistle reading

Eucharistic Accl.:S Misa Oecumenica (Proulx)
E Holy/Christ/ Amen /Lamb (New Danish Amen Mass-Culbreth)

Communion Procession: Antiphon: “O Lord, how great is the depth…”(Simple Choral Gradual/R.Rice)

Communion Anthem:S IF YE LOVE ME (Tallis)

Recessional:S Organ postlude

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Sacre Bleu!
Le Cantique de Stephan Janco.
I have more than a passing acquaintance with Steven Janco's much heralded "Mass of Angels and Saints." It's almost unbelievable how long it has been around, this heavyweight "contenda" destined to succeed MoC, according to their own publisher's initial publicity campaign of yore.

I have no doubt that the object d'art that hooked me when I first read the Mass setting was that its nose wafted with the aromas of truffles, anise, zitroen and most notably Michel Legrand. Legrand's Mancini (only French) penchant for the lilting melodic hook fascinated me from the day I first heard the music from "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg." Heck, Wendy and I had "What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life" sung during the Offertory at our wedding Mass. (It WAS 1974, whadidwe know?)
We even went to a few of Legrand's concerts when he'd blow through Concord.
Janco doesn't quote Legrand in MoAaS, but the motive that he repeatedly quotes (think of the Hosanna from the Sanctus) has that Franco-Euro soundtrack lilt that seems to only invoke "zat zounds zo luffly." And lovely it truly is.
I do remember, upon that first blush, noticing that this lovely tune was, however, less delicately supported by its choral arrangement. In point of fact, the SATB wasn't just inadequate, it was clumsy. I might have scribbled some alternative versions of movements that had the melody in the tenor and/or bass voices, with parallel harmonies assigned to altos and perhaps some contrapuntal descants whose rhythms alternated with those of the motive (think soprano versus alto lines in "Angels we have heard on high refrain")
Like MoC, MoAaS was supposed to be a hybrid; available to modernists and traddie choirs alike. But what was clear is that its metier was clearly geared for the ensemble, a Parisian quartet of piano, archtop guitar, bass and accordian. If you go to its publisher's order page today, you'll see about a dozen items you can order to augment this humble and singable Mass, including the ubiquitous Brass Quintet and Tympani parts! Mon Dieu!
We here in CenCA have infused it into rotation once in a bleu moon, but it doesn't hold our interest for more than a couple of months each go 'round. But, it is still fresh when not encumbered by too much accompaniment hoopla. Less is more, I believe, with this setting. Using a Django quartet and some light voices in the right mix, perhaps a soft soprano or alto sax lightly (not wailing like Jan Garbarek sometimes) improvising, has a nice finish.

Oh, and they used it in New Orleans this afternoon. I couldn't see clearly, but I think it was either Manny Ramirez or Big Papi on tympani.
A little Legrand goes a long way. Oh, and a little Faure to compliment the spiritual would relieve the palate as well. Au revoir.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Pretty much sums it up for me.

Coming SOON:

Liturgy and Music: Marines-Strong!
HT to Creative Minority Report

For those who are confused as to what this is about.
CREATIVE MINORITY REPORT is an orthodox blog that approaches the practice of Catholic living from the perspective of humor. They self-attribute their collective blog name from the following quote:
""Believing Christians should look upon themselves as such a creative minority and ... espouse once again the best of its heritage, thereby being at the service of humankind at large." --Joseph Ratzinger
The accompanying and borrowed graphic is from one of their author/artists who meant to capitalize (for better or worse) the then prevailing U.S. Government policy of "Cash for Clunkers" in the auto industry, which was promulgated to incentivize people towards both trading in older, inefficient cars for more idyllic technology in certain companies' catalogues. The analogy spoofed the whole project by the common, comical notion of the car salesman. But underlying the whole notion of both the graphic as well as the blog is that our Holy Father is decidedly NOT, unlike his or other public figures' caricatures, "crazy."
By satirizing the transient (sorry for the hapless, hirsute cleric) for the ideal, the faux-ad declares unabashedly a longing for real reform, real benefit, real human dignity that has been contravened for four generations of gadgetry.
Holy Father Benedict XVI, Papa and Bishop of Rome, is only "crazy" like a fox. He has the Light of Christ pointed for us to show us the way: lex orandi, lex credendi.

I am generally amused by the CREATIVE MINORITY folks' living up to their nominal adjective. I am generally not amused by those who miss the big point in order to demonize such free-thinking that works with and for the Church and the Holy Spirit. But, I digress. Such now have their explanation for the post. In such hubris, they betray the humility of their faith, their spiritual leader and the tenets of Christ's second answer to the Pharisees' semantical trap: "What is the greatest commandment?"