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Ordo musicae: Lent I

March 16, 2011

March 13, Lent I:

 

Processional Hymn:  Lord, Who throughout These Forty Days (St. Flavian)

Asperges:  chant

Propers from the Graduale Romanum

Mass Ordinary:  Pompeo Cannicciari:  Missa Phrygia

Credo I

Offertory motet:  S.S. Wesley:  Si iniquitates

Communion motet:  Audi, benigne Conditor (chant)

Closing hymn:  Today is the Accepted Time (Breslau)

 

Pompeo Cannicciari was the successor to Alessandro Scarlatti at the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome.  He has written this Missa Phrygia in the so-called stile antico, that is the sacred polyphonic style as opposed to the contemporary Baroque style.  All the same, this piece has some interesting moments which give away its true age, harmonic and melodic elements which simply would not appear in a genuinely Renaissance piece.  Perhaps it was his intention only to recall the works of Palestrina and others and not to imitate them.  Imitators, such as the Caecilians in the 19th century, are usually failures, after all.  Cannicciari has left us a lovely, demur piece of music which is perfect for the mood in Lent.

The last hymn is a translation of the Latin text Nunc tempus acceptabile by Kathy Pluth, a church musician in Virginia.  A number of her works have been published, and I’m quite happy to have worked with her, writing some melodies to go with some of her original hymn texts.  With this text, we sang the tune Breslau, which most people associate with Take Up Your Cross.  I think  Kathy’s work gives great testimony that a text does not have to be ancient, Victorian, or undecipherable to be noble and acceptable for the liturgy.  Visit Kathy’s blog here.

 

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