Monday, 22 October 2007
The unusual harmonisation of the chant is called 'faux bourdon'; there is more information about it in the comments to my post.
Wednesday, 17 October 2007
The first Sung Mass of the academic year took place on Saturday. It has been blogged about here and here. Our professional coach Adrian Taylor gave us a practice session before and directed us during the Mass itself.
The occasion of the Requiem was the 10th Anniversary of the death of Damian Coughlan, who died while an undergraduate at St Benet's Hall. It was the occasion for a reunion between many St Benet's alumni who were Damian's contemporaries, along with many members of Damian's extended family. It was organised by Matthew Doyle, Damian's half-brother.
The traditional Sung Requiem is one of the glories of Western culture. Not only is it a supreme work of religious art, but it has inspired more polyphonic settings than any other Mass. Indeed, it is the only Mass whose propers have regularly been set to new music - i.e. not just the Kyrie, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei, but, in Mozart and Verdi and so many other composers' works, you find the Inroit, Gradual, Tract and Sequence, and Communion. The Sequence, the unforgetable Dies Irae, makes vivid the Church's teaching on the Last Things in a heartfelt plea for forgiveness:
You who forgave Mary [Magdalen],
and heard the plea of the thief [Dismas]
have given hope to me also.
The author is thought to have been Thomas of Celano, a disciple of St Francis of Assissi. (For more information see here and here.)
Tuesday, 9 October 2007
Thursday, 4 October 2007
Every week in Full Term:
Sung Latin Vespers 6.30pm
Tuesdays and Thursdays, St Benet's Hall.
Sung Masses in Michaelmas Term
1st Week, Sat 13th Oct: Requiem (SS Gregory and Augustine,
4th Week, Fri 2nd Nov: All Souls (Oratory)
Votive Mass of Our Lady (Newman Society Termly Mass)
(Brasenose College Chapel)
9th Week, Fri 7th Dec St Ambrose (SS G&A)
Our termly professional coaching will be with
Mr Adrian Taylor,
on Saturday 13th October at 10am.
President: Michael Ryan, Brasenose
Secretary: Alexander Morrison, Oriel
The Society exists to promote Gregorian Chant and Sacred Polyphony in the context of Catholic liturgy: the Office and the Traditional Mass.
To this end we have founded an all-male Gregorian Chant Schola; we hope to establish a mixed polyphonic choir in the future.
Membership is free: sign up to our mailing list to hear about our events. Members of the schola are eligible for a stipend upon certain conditions.
Members of the schola are eligible for a stipend upon certain conditions.