Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Music for Vespers at the Shrine

I'm sitting here watching EWTN's live coverage of the Pope's Vespers service in the National Shrine in Washington. We're still at the hymn and we've already heard so much wonderful music. John Taverner's Dum transisset Sabbatum, Durufle's Tu es Petrus, magnificent organ improvisations, and great singing in the hymn At the Lamb's High Feast, which is the Vespers hymn for Eastertide.

The first Psalm antiphon has just been sung, and it is well-composed, by Shrine music director Dr. Peter Latona, if I recall correctly. This is also the service for which Fr. Weber was selected to compose some chants. I haven't yet heard any of those, as far as I can tell. Update: So far the chant tones which I've recognized in English are those from St. Meinrad Archabbey.

The Gloria Patri of the Magnificat was sung polyphonically. The Pater Noster was chanted in Latin. The service just concluded with the chanting of the Regina caeli, followed by an organ improvisation on that same chant.

If you could watch all this with a dry eye, you're a better man than me. Many thanks and congratulations to Dr. Latona and the Shrine musicians.

I should also note my sincere gratitude to the commentators for being silent and allowing the service to speak for itself.

More recent articles:

For more articles, see the NLM archives: