Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Attempts to Revive Gregorian Chant?

From Sandro Magister this morning: Gregorian Chant. The Revival Announced.

Here is an excerpt:

Gregorian Chant. The Revival Announced

The congregation for divine worship wants to put itself in the lead of the rebirth of great sacred music. Here is its program, made public for the first time by one of its officials. But the secretariat of state has its own musicians, and is putting on the brakes

by Sandro Magister

ROME, May 23, 2012 – At the Mass that Benedict XVI will celebrate in Milan next June 3 in front of an immense crowd of faithful, on the occasion of the world meeting of families, the performance of the Gregorian chants will be entrusted to the choir directed by Maestro Fulvio Rampi.

It is one of the most justly esteemed choirs in Gregorian chant. In the study and practice of which, the "prince" chant of the Latin liturgy, Rampi has for years played a role of the highest importance.

Last May 19, in Lecce, he gave a compelling talk precisely on this form of chant, as part of a day of study on sacred music fifty years after Vatican II and in the light of the magisterium of Benedict XVI:

> Il canto gregoriano: un estraneo in casa sua

It is common knowledge that Gregorian chant is not in its finest hour. It has been practically banned everywhere, in spite of the fact that Vatican Council II, in the constitution on the liturgy, reaffirmed its primacy in the clearest of terms:

"The Church acknowledges Gregorian chant as specially suited to the Roman liturgy: therefore, other things being equal, it should be given pride of place in liturgical services."

If Gregorian chant has been banned, it is because of complete amnesia concerning its nature. Its rebirth therefore demands in the first place that it be rediscovered and understood.

Rampi defined it with five traits, in his talk in Lecce:

1. Gregorian is the chant "proper" to the Latin liturgy. In it, the Church speaks its thought on the Word of God in song.

2. Gregorian is the "sonorous" expression of the interpretation that the Church makes of the Word.

3. Gregorian is not ornamentation, but is itself liturgy.

4. Gregorian is liturgy in its proper times and forms: from the introit to the gradual to the "communio," from the Kyrie to the Agnus Dei.

5. Gregorian is a whole that marks out and embraces the entire liturgical year, intelligible only in its unified vision, like the Sacred Scriptures. It is the musical form of the "lectio divina" of the Church.

Read the entire article.

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