Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Recordings from Mater Ecclesiae's Assumption Mass

Special thanks to a friend of Mater Ecclesiae for putting together a recording of the various pieces of music at this year's Assumption Mass. I have picked out a few which I thought were particularly worthy of being highlighted, and they are as follows:

--Kyrie et Gloria from Monteverdi's Missa della Cappella

Credo III, with an anonymous 16th century Guatemalan setting of the Et incarnatus
Discussion on chant accompaniment will not be allowed on this thread.

--Mozart's Venite populi

--Mozart Church Sonata #1 in E-flat (These are not done so often; perhaps a revival is in order.)

--Palestrina/Bassano: Pulchra es amica mea
Bassano was sometime Maestro di Cappella at San Marco in Venice. He added the string parts to this already existing Palestrina motet. This arrangement gives some idea of the tempi at which Renaissance polyphony was conceived--not that it must necessarily be done that way all the time.

--Timothy McDonnell's Sing We of the Blessed Mother (text written by G.B. Timms)

How does Mater Ecclesiae manage to pull off something as amazing as this? From the standpoint of financial resources, it is an unremarkable parish. Every year, they take a collection for the Assumption Mass, others make gifts in varying amounts of $1,000, or $500, etc. Others take out ads for the Assumption booklet. Many from outside the parish join in this assistance. In short, Mater Ecclesiae gets this done not because some miracle dropped out of the sky, but because the pastor and the parishioners have made it a priority. This is something to keep in mind the next time someone says that they wish they had good music but they "just don't have enough money." In most cases this is nothing more than an excuse. Kudos to Mater Ecclesiae for their dedication to good liturgy.

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