Wednesday, January 08, 2014

A Palestrina Mass in North Carolina - Sunday, January 12th

From Fr. Eric Kowalski, Pastor, Our Lady of Grace, in Greensboro, North Carolina: There will be Mass in the Extraordinary Form celebrated at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church, Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, January 12, at 1 p.m. The Mass setting will be Palestrina’s Missa O admirabile commercium. This Mass will be sung by the Suspicious Cheese Lords, (editor’s note: that is NOT a typo; see below) an early music ensemble with an unorthodox name and a penchant for recording little-known music. Indeed, they recently released the first-ever recording of this Mass. Palestrina’s biographer, Giuseppe Baini, wrote of this Mass: “It is one of the most harmonious, beautiful, and sublime that Pier Luigi ever wrote: a Mass that never grows grows old, but which, heard a thousand times, produces always the same effects on its audience, and which in every age appeals to the current taste, as though it were a new production of every composer who actually elevates himself above his contemporaries.” This will be a wonderful opportunity to hear this great music as it was intended, in the liturgy.

The ensemble named above will also have a concert the day before, Saturday the 11th; click here for more information.

The Suspicious Cheese Lords’ name does not come from a Monty Python skit, as one might reasonably guess, but, according to their own website, “from the title of a Thomas Tallis motet, Suscipe quæso Domine. While ‘translating’ the title, it was observed that Suscipe could be ‘suspicious,’ (editor’s note: not really.) quæso is close to the Spanish word queso, meaning ‘cheese,’ and Domine is, of course, ‘Lord.’ Hence, the title of the motet was clearly ‘Suspicious Cheese Lord’—which in time became adopted as the group’s name. Although their name is humorous, the group appreciates the literal translation of Suscipe Quæso Domine, which is, ‘Take, I ask, Lord.’ Suspiciously, the Cheese Lords have yet to perform this motet.”

What they have performed is a wide variety of music, including a number of rare pieces by lesser known composers, and recorded four albums. (Information on their website, linked above.) They also have a youtube channel; browse, and be delighted. I was hard pressed to choose which piece to add to this article, but it’s the Christmas season, so...

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