Saturday 31 December 2011

Hillary Term Term Card

Christmas Vacation

6th January: Epiphany, 6pm
SS Gregory & Augustine's

First Week

Sunday 15th January, 12 noon
SS Gregory & Augustine's

Third Week

Thursday 2nd February: Purification of Our Lady, 6pm
SS Gregory & Augustine's

Fourth Week

Sunday 5th Februrary, Septuagesima, 11am,
St William of York, Reading

Saturday 11th February, Our Lady of Lourdes, 11.30am
Milton Manor, near Didcot

Sixth Week

Sunday 19th February Quinquagesima, 12 noon
SS Gregory & Augustine's

Wednesday 22nd February: Ash Wednesday, 6pm
SS Gregory & Augustine's

Seventh Week

Saturday 3rd March: Ember Saturday of Lent, 11am
St Anthony of Padua

Eighth Week

Saturday 10th March (Forty Martyrs), 11:30am
LMS Pilgrimage to Our Lady of Caversham
Our Lady and St Anne, Caversham, near Reading

Tenth Week

Sunday 18th March, Laetare Sunday, 12 noon
SS Gregory & Augustine's

Monday 19 December 2011

Final Mass of Michaelmas

We have been asked to sing at the regular monthly Sunday Traditonal Mass at SS Gregory and Augustine's, which takes place on the third Sunday of the month. So last Sunday we sang the Mass Rorate caeli desuper, the 4th Sunday of Advant. The texts of the chants are very much focused on the mystery of the Incarnation, and the role of Our Lady in it.
We'll be back to sing in SS Gregory and Augustine again for Epiphany, at 6pm. Till then, a very happy Christmas to all our supporters! IMG_8548

Friday 16 December 2011

More Masses of Michaelmas Term

Our first Mass of the term was the LMS Oxford Pilgrimage, always a splendid occasion, this year for the first time it was in the Dominican Rite, and we had to sing Dominican Chant. The priestly gesture, above, is not something you see in the Roman Rite. We also accompanied the procession to the site of the martyrdoms of 1589, with a newly blessed statue of Our Lady of Walsingham. IMG_7789

The following weekend, we had our training day with a local chant expert, Chris Watson. IMG_0006
The day was concluded with a Sung Requiem in the stunning church of St Birinus, which has a rood screen.

Among the later Masses of term (which included the Remebrance Sunday Mass, in the post below) was one in Mapledurham, a historic Catholoic house with a private chapel. This chapel, and its more hidden predecessors, was the centre of Catholic life for the area for centuries.

You can see more about this Mass here.

Monday 14 November 2011

Rembrance Sunday in Reading

Yesterday the Schola sang Brumel's Missa pro defunctis in the Church of St William of York, for Fr Armand de Malleray FSSP. This was the regular 11am Traditional Mass celebrated in that chuch, which is always sung.

Readers from overseas may be surprised that a Requiem Mass can replace a Sunday Mass. It is by a special dispensation sought by the Bishops of England and Wales after World War I.
Fr de Malleray had a rather splendid catafalque, and we had the 'ablutions': we sang the very moving responsary Libera me, while the celebrant blessed the catafalque (basically an empty coffin, representing those for whom we are praying), first with holy water, and then with incense.

I hope to get videos of this Mass uploaded at some point.

Afterwards we had lunch in Reading's Loch Fyne Restaurant.

Saturday 8 October 2011

Freshers' Fair!

We were there!

So were a lot of choirs...


The choral diversity of Oxford is a wonderful thing. The OUGCS certainly adds to it: along with some enthusiastic responses we had a fair number of complete bafflement. If we have introduced the concept of Gregorian Chant to a few freshers then our time was not spent entirely in vain! More to the point, however, we had a decent haul of people wanting auditions, and good luck to them!

Saturday 1 October 2011

Term Card: Michaelmas 2011

Second Week

Sunday 16th: 12noon Sung Mass, SS Gregory & Augustine, Oxford

Sat 22nd Oct: Latin Mass Society Oxford Pilgrimage.
Solemn Mass 11am, Blackfriars
procession 2pm, from Cornmarket
Benediction 3pm, Blackfriars

Third Week

Sat 29th Oct Training Day
4pm Sung Requiem, St Birinus, Dorchester on Thames

Fourth Week

Wed 2nd Nov, All Souls: 6pm SS Gregory & Augustine

Sixth Week

Sunday 13th November, Remembrance Sunday: 11am, St William of York, Reading

Seventh Week

Sunday 20th November: 12 noon, SS Gregory & Augustine

Saturday 26th November, St Silvester: 11am, Mapledurham

Eighth Week

Thurs 1st Dec, Martyrs of Oxford University:
Solemn Mass, 11am St Anthony of Padua

Tenth Week

Sunday 18th Dec, 12 noon, SS Gregory & Augustine

Friday 19 August 2011

Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

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The Schola accompanied Mass in SS Gregory & Augustine.

Gloria, from Morales, Missa de beata virgine

Gradual Audi filia & Alleluia Assumpta est

Sanctus & Benedictus, from the same Morales Mass

The Alleluia is the only ancient piece of chant in this Mass, all the others being newly composed following the Definition of the Dogma of the Assumption by Pope Pius XII in 1950. This work of composition was during the brief period (1945-1971) in which a new version of the Latin Psalter, the 'Pian Psalter' overseen by Cardinal Bea, was being used, and this version has found its way into the Gradual. It is often said that Cardinal Bea's Psalter is harder to sing; the 'Gallican Psalter' found in the Clementine Latin Vulgate is composed in a poetic and rythmical style which imitates the Hebrew.

The Gradual verse (sung by the cantor) used for the Assumption (Ps 44:14) reads:

Tota decora ingreditur filia regis, texturae sunt amictus ejus.

The equivalent verse of the Gallican Psalter is completely different. It flows much more easily:

Omnis gloria ejus filiæ regis ab intus, in fimbriis aureis.

More on Latin Psalters from Wikipedia.

Tuesday 2 August 2011

Revamped blog

We have just put in ten 'pages' giving information about the Schola, our history, repertoire, how to join and so on. We hope readers will find this easier to navigate and interesting to read.

This is designed to give all the information which may be helpful to those thinking about what choir to join in the new academic year. If you want to sing Chant and/or Renaissance Polyphony, we want to hear from you!

Thursday 28 July 2011

Nuptial Mass

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The Schola was privileged to sing at the Nuptial Mass of one our our own members. The Mass took place in St Anthony of Padua, and was celebrated by the parish priest, Fr Aldo Tapparo.

Introit Deus Israel conjugat vos

Gradual Uxor tua, Alleluia Mittat vobis

Offertory, In te speravi (which is also used for the 11th Sunday After Pentecost), with its ancient verses.

Communion Ecce sic benedicetur, with Psalm verses.

More about this Mass here.

Sacred Heart

We sang for the Feast of the Most Sacred Heart at SS Gregory & Augustine.

It was the occasion both of a First Communion and an unusual thurible malfunction - see more on the LMS Chairman blog!

Introit, Cogitationes.

Gradual Dulcis and Alleluia Tollite

Friday 1 July 2011

Backlog of videos

Here are some videos from three recent Masses we accompanied in Oxford: SS Peter & Paul, Corpus Christi (more on this Mass), and Whit Thursday (more on this Mass).

Nunc scio vere: Introit of St Peter & St Paul

Gradual Constitues eos and Alleluia Tu es Petrus, for St Peter & St Paul.

Alleluia & Sequence of Pentecost

Gradual Confirma hoc, of Pentecost (sung on Whit Thursday at St Anthony of Padua), with the Offertory verses.

Introit Cibavit of Corpus Christi, & Palestrina Kyrie's from his Missa Lauda Sion

Here is the Gloria from Corpus Christi, from the same Mass setting by Palestrina.

Thursday 30 June 2011

Videos of the Juventutem Mass

The Schola Abelis was privileged to sing at a wonderful Solemn Mass celebrated for the London Juventutem group, in the newly restored church of St Patrick, Soho Square.

The polyphonists sang Victoria's Missa O quam gloriosum.

Here is a taste of it: Victoria's Kyrie.

Victoria's Sanctus and Benedictus.

There are more photos and commentary on the Mass here.

Saturday 11 June 2011

Newman Termly Mass: and videos

The President of the Newman Society this term is actually a member of the Schola, so it was appropriate that we sang for their termly Mass. It took place in the Oxford Oratory, and we had some splendid polyphony too - see videos below.
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More photos.

A selection of pieces from the Mass. The polyphony was by Guillaume Dufay, with the exception of a Byrd motet at the Offertory. Dufay was a highly influential composer of the 15th Century; see his Wikipedia entry.

A Gloria by Dufay.

The Greater and Lesser Alleluias.

The Offertory, Stetit Angelus, followed by a motet, Byrd's Memento salutis auctor.

The Benedictus, also by Dufay, sung after the Consecration.

The Communion (Angeli Archangeli) followed by motet, Dufay's Flos florum.

Friday 10 June 2011

St William of York, Reading

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We sang for the Fraternity of St Peter apostolate in St William of York, Reading, last Sunday.
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Some more photos.

Wednesday 1 June 2011

Term Card: Long Vacation 2011

Long Vacation 2011


Mon 11th July, Centenary of SS Edmund & Frideswide

Sung Mass 7pm, SS Edmund & Frideswide (Greyfriars)


Mon 15th, Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

6pm Sung Mass, SS Gregory & Augustine


Thurs 8th, Nativity of BVM,

6pm Sung Mass, SS Gregory & Augustine

Tuesday 10 May 2011

Polyphony for Our Lady and Bl J.H. Newman

The schola sang for the Pilgrimage to Littlemore organised jointly by the LMS, Juventutem Oxford and the Oxford Newman Society. Here are some videos from Mass, which was a votive Mass of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, with variations for Paschal time.

The Mass propers are mostly modern, though as is usual they are based on earlier chants. The only one which appears in the 1908 Gradual is the first of the Alleluias.

Introit, and Brumel Kyrie

Offertory, Exsultavit, followed by a polyphonic motet, Brumel's Sub tuum praesidium.

Polyphony for St George

At the Mass for the feast of St George we had a polyphonic Regina Caeli. This setting of the Regina Caeli is by Robert White (c. 1538 – 1574), an English Catholic composer.

Monday 9 May 2011

Schola Abelis at the Spanish Place workshop with Dom Lelièvre

Several members of the Schola Abelis were at the 'advanced students' sessions of this workshop in London with Dom Yves-Marie Lelièvre, Choirmaster at the Abbaye Saint-Pierre de Solesmes, France. It was a great occasion.
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More here.

Monday 11 April 2011

The Schola Abelis at the GCN Chant Course

Six members of the Schola attended the Gregorian Chant Network's Weekend Chant Course directed by Colin Mawby, which took place last weekend (Friday to Sunday) at the Oratory School near Reading. Five of us provided a schola for the opening Mass.
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The course was extremely successful, and we all learnt a huge amount from Colin Mawby's experience of singing and directing chant, which goes back to the 1940s, and his great sensitivity to it. He demonstrated in a quite remarkable way how small changes to tempo and emphasis can make a piece of chant sound quite different, and how groups of singers can respond to interpretative suggestions.

Colin Mawby is well known as a composer, and was Director of Music at Westminster Cathedral in the 1960s. For more on the course, see the Gregorian Chant Network.
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Thursday 7 April 2011

Term Card for Trinity 2011

This is a very exciting Term Card for the schola, including more events than we have ever had in one term before. We will be singing in Greyfriars in Oxford for the first time, and returning to the Oratory. We will be singing in the historic Catholic house of Stonor at the first Traditional Mass to take place there since 1970. We will be supporting two new walking pilgrimages organised by the Latin Mass Society and Juventutem Oxford, to Littlemore and to Our Lady of Oxford. Among the chants we will be singing the great sequences of Pentecost and Corpus Christi. And for the first time, we will be marking the Feast of St George, which does not usually fall in term time but has been displaced by the late Easter to 3rd May.

Practices as customary in Queen's College, at 8.15 on Wednesdays, unless otherwise arranged.

First Week

Tues 3rd May 6pm: St George

Ss Gregory & Augustine

Sat 7th May Pilgrimage to Littlemore
in honour of Bl J.H. Newman

2.30pm Sung Mass Greyfriars (Ss Edmund & Frideswide)
Followed by walk to Littlemore and Vespers

2nd Week

Sat 14th May Pilgrimage to Our Lady of Oxford, Oxford Oratory

Walk from Abingdon Abbey, Abingdon, departing 11am
Sung Mass, Oxford Oratory, 3.30pm

4th Week

Thurs 26th May 6pm: St Augustine of Canterbury
Ss Gregory & Augustine's

6th Week

Sun 5th June 11am: Sunday in the Octave of the Ascension
St William of York, Reading

Tuesday 7th June, 4pm: Newman Society Mass, Oxford Oratory

7th Week

Thurs 16th June, 11am: Whit Thursday
followed by blessing of lilies and veneration of a relic
of St Anthony of Padua
Church of St Anthony of Padua, Headington

8th Week

Sun 19th June 6.30pm Trinity Sunday

Stonor Chapel, near Henley-on-Thames

Thurs 23rd Corpus Christi
Sung Mass 6pm Ss Gregory & Augustine

9th Week

Wed 29th June 6pm: Ss Peter & Paul
Ss Gregory & Augustine

Friday 1st July 6pm: Sacred Heart
Ss Gregory & Augustine

Tuesday 15 March 2011

Juventutem Mass in London, again

We sang again for the Good Counsel Network and Juventutem London. We were singing from the back of the Church so the sound isn't very good (the camcorder was at the front!) but it was a good Mass. Our polyphonists sang Obrecht's 'Missa Fors seulement'.

Here's the Introit (Audivit Dominus: Friday after Ash Wednesday) and the Kyrie

The Gradual Unam petii

Obrecht's Sanctus and Benedictus.

See some photos.

Saturday 12 March 2011

Ash Wednesday in SS Gregory & Augustine, 2011

We sang at Mass on Ash Wednesday, with a polyphonic Mass Ordinary: Morales, Missa Super fa re ut fa so la.

Here is one of the chants sung during the blessing of the ashes, Emendemus.

The Introit and Morales' Kyrie.

The Gradual Miserere and Tract Domine non secundum.

Offertory Exaltabo & motet: Antoine Brumel, O Domine Jesu Christe

Morales' Sanctus & Benedictus.

Morales' Agnus Dei.

Communion Qui meditabitur & motet: Cipriano de Rore, 'Miserere nostri Deus'

More uploading now!

Monday 7 March 2011

Musical event in Oxford

I've been asked to promote this.

in aid of Kianda Foundation, Kenya

Saturday, March 12th at 7.30pm

St. Michael and All Angels' Church,
Lonsdale Road, Summertown, Oxford OX2 7ES

Tickets at the door
£15 / £12 concessions. Refreshments included.

Jay Boender,
David Mears,
Osman Tack,
Laurens PriceNowak,
Leo Appel & the Florentine
musicians: Giacomo Rossi
Prodi, Petra Cini, Sara
Palumbo, Simone Tavoni &
Francesca Orlando.

This is likely to be the programme with small alterations:
F. Chopin (1810 -1849) - Waltz no.14 and Prelude no.24, op.28F. Liszt (1811-1886) - from Grandes Etudes de Paganini "La campanella".F. Chopin (1810 -1849) - Fantasie Impromptu in C sharp minor op.66J. Brahms (1833 -1897) - Hungarian Dance no.1S. Rachmaninov (1873 -1943) - Prelude in C sharp minorR. Schumann (1810 - 1856) - Aufschwung op.12. Bela Bartok (1881 - 1945) - Suite op.14Allegretto, Scherzo, Allegro molto, Sostenuto
.Prokoviev (1891-1953) - Sonata n.3
F. Chopin (1810 -1849)- Study Op 25/1 Debussy (1862 - 1918) - The hills of Anacapri F. Liszt (1811-1886) - Consolation no.3
PianoE. Elgar (1857 - 1934) - Salut d'Amour op.1

Friday 4 March 2011

Videos of the Feast of St Chad

We were privileged to sing at the inaugral Mass of Juventutem Oxford, a new group for young people attached to the Traditional Mass. They are affiliated to Young Catholic Adults, who are the UK affiliate of the Juventutem Federation.

It was the feast of St Chad, a first class feast in the Archdiocese of Birmingham. His relics are kept in Birmingham's St Chad's Cathedral. We sang the propers, the Second Mass of a Confessor Bishop, and a polyphonic ordinary: Heinrich Isaac's Missa pro Confessoribus.

Introit Sacerdotes tui and Isaac Kyrie

Gradual Sacerdotes and Tract Beatus vir.

Offertory Veritas mea with verses.

Heinrich Isaac's Sanctus and Benedictus

Isaac Agnus Dei

Communion antiphon Beatus vir, followed by a polyphonic version of the vespers hymn for a Confessor, Iste Confessor, by Victoria.

See LMS Chairman for more on the Mass. More photos here.

Monday 28 February 2011

Videos of the Pilgrimage to Caversham

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Last Saturday the Schola sang for the Latin Mass Society's annual Pilgrimage to Our Lady of Caversham. There was an important shrine to Our Lady in Caversham from before the Norman Conquest to the Reformation, and this was restored in 1958. Today it boasts a lovely medieval shrine image, a large, polychromed wooden Madonna and Child; Our Lady was crowned to mark the 50th Anniversary of the restoration of the shrine. This is the second year that the LMS has organised a pilgrimage there.

It was a Votive Mass of Our Lady (after Septuagesima). (When we sang there last year, it was the Ember Saturday of Lent, which was interesting.) Not having any polyphonists with us, we sang as a vested schola from the front of the nave.

Here is the Introit, with the Kyrie from Mass IX.

The Gradual Benedicta et venerabilis, and Tract Gaude Maria Virgo

The Offetory Felix namque est.

See the LMS Chairman blog for more on the Mass; see here for more photos.

Friday 25 February 2011

Videos of Septuagesima

The Schola was privileged to sing at a splendid Solemn Mass celebrated by a visiting FSSP priest at St William of York, Reading: Fr Alfaro had come all the way from the Fraternity mission in Colombia. For more about the Mass see here.

Intoit Circumdederunt

Gradual Adjutor in opportunitatibus, Tract De profundis

Offertory Bonum est confiteri

Communion Illumina faciem tuam

Tuesday 22 February 2011

Videos of St Agatha Mass

On 5th Feb we were in the Chapel of Milton Manor House, a historic Catholic house near Abingdon, where Fr Anthony Conlon sang Mass which we accompanied. The feast was St Agatha, who has special propers of particular interest: the Communion antiphon is highly unusual in not being from scripture, but instead refers to her legend, and in particular the miraculous restoration of her breasts which had been cut off during the course of her mistreatment before her martyrdom: 'mamilam meam meo pectori restituere'. The picture above shows St Peter curing her.

Our polyphonists sang Joseph Obrecht's Missa de tous biens pleyne.


Gradual & Alleluia

Offertory with Offertory verses

Obrecht's Sanctus & Benedictus

A polyphonic Ave Regina Caelorum, by Leonel Power.

For a report on this Mass see here.