Monday 22 October 2007

YouTube video of faux bourdon in Merton

I posted a You-Tube video of singing at the recent Latin Mass Society training conference in Merton College here; quite by chance I found another, much better video of the same musical technique, by what I assume are the same singers, in the same chapel, dating from the 2006 CIEL conference.

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

Requiem Mass

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

First Meeting

Confirmation of venue: the first meeting and rehearsal of our all-male schola will be at

8pm in the Stapeldon Room in Exeter College,

on Wednesday 10th October.

Thursday 4 October 2007

OGCS at Freshers' Fair

Term Card


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, Woodstock Road)

4th Week, Fri 2nd Nov: All Souls (Oratory)

NB change:

7th Week, Mon 19th Nov:
Votive Mass of Our Lady (Newman Society Termly Mass)
(Brasenose College Chapel)

Outside Term:
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.

Welcome to the Oxford Gregorian Chant Society

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.