Friday, December 15, 2006

Churches: Still the Center of Culture

Christmas season brings out the best in Church music. People are more inclined to attend services and concerts than during other times of the year--and there is no question that people want to listen to music. And the directors and choirs too tend to get more serious about what they are doing.

Of course this isn't universally true. Many houses of worship in the South will feature over-the-top programs consisting mostly of sacro-pop, which sounds no better with a full orchestra and when everyone is singing on risers formed in the shape of a Christmas true (I kid you not: there is a market for the equipment).

In any case, who can't but be inspired by this NYT list of music in the New York area? And it's not just the Episcopalians, though they certainly have the edge in this report. Still, have a look at the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church on West 71st Street, Manhattan: Charpentier's Messe de Minuit, Victoria's "Jesu Dulcis Memoria," Franck’s "Noel Angevin," Adam’s "Cantique de Noel," Gregorian chant and other works. The Christmas eve Mass is at 10:30pm. There are many others.

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