PipeChat Digest #710 - Friday, February 19, 1999
 
RC music (longish)
  by "Bud/burgie" <budchris@earthlink.net>
Re: Bach Works
  by "Travis Evans" <tle6399@seward.cune.edu>
Re: Vatican II
  by "bruce cornely" <cremona84000@webtv.net>
Re: Vatican II
  by "bruce cornely" <cremona84000@webtv.net>
Re: Vatican II
  by "bruce cornely" <cremona84000@webtv.net>
Re: Vatican II
  by "V. David Barton" <vdbarton@erols.com>
The Second Coming (was "Vatican II")
  by "Bud/burgie" <budchris@earthlink.net>
ADMIN NOTE Re: Vatican II
  by "Administrator" <admin@pipechat.org>
The Second Coming (was "Vatican II")
  by "Judy A. Ollikkala" <71431.2534@compuserve.com>
Re: RE: Vatican II
  by <Afreed0904@aol.com>
Re: Michael:  Row!
  by <Afreed0904@aol.com>
Re: Vatican II
  by "John L. Speller" <jlspeller@stlnet.com>
Re: Vatican II
  by "bruce cornely" <cremona84000@webtv.net>
What to do with the final hymn
  by "Bud/burgie" <budchris@earthlink.net>
Re: Bach Works
  by <jorge.gomez@nuclenor.es>
Re: What to do with the final hymn
  by "Mark Harris" <M.Harris@Admin.lon.ac.uk>
 


(back) Subject: RC music (longish) From: Bud/burgie <budchris@earthlink.net> Date: Thu, 18 Feb 1999 15:25:36 -0800   As a former RC church musician of many years, I'd say this: don't be too hard on the RCs. They didn't have much to build on. Folks tend to forget what music was like in the average RC parish BEFORE Vatican II.   For a bunch of complicated historical reasons that it's not necessary to go into here, most of the hierarchy in this country and many of the parish priests were F.B.I. (foreign-born Irish). For another bunch of political and historical reasons, they had no tradition of the High Mass or the Chant in Ireland. What they brought to this country was the silent Low Mass with hymns sung by a choir, often followed by Solemn Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament with deacon, subdeacon, incense, etc. McLaughlin & Reilly notwithstanding, you won't find many Irish composers of RC Masses, Propers, Motets, etc. ... the culture simply couldn't afford the luxury.   Organs, with some notable exceptions, were small ... big enough to accompany the choir alone, since congregational singing was limited to novenas and Benediction.   In my first RC job (in college in the early '60s), the pastor (one Msgr. Mc-Something-or-Other, then in his late seventies) forbade the use of Chant. He'd never heard it; he didn't understand it; he had no use for it. The organ (in a church that seated over a thousand) was a 4-rank Wicks unit beast from the '20s, buried in a closet above the stairs to the choir-loft. The elderly men's choir could easily overpower it. They DID have a High Mass, but the MUSIC they SANG ... ooh la la! Griesbacher, Perosi, Carnevali, the Mass in the back of the St. Basil Hymnal, etc. Father Rossini's music was MUCH too high-church for them! They sang the Propers to Griesbacher (Repertorium Chorale) ... if someone had given Wagner a hit of BAD acid and locked him in a room and not let him out until he had composed music for the Propers for every day of the year ... well, you get the idea. I keep a copy, just for old time's sake.   There WERE some notable exceptions: churches staffed by religious Orders, and churches founded by missionary German Benedictines across the upper Midwest, but they were just that: exceptions.   I remember sneaking into the big, brand-new RC church in Winter Haven FL when I was in high school to hear Mass "sung". Compared to the well-ordered Solemn High Mass at St. Paul's Episcopal across the street, the "sung" Mass at Sacred Heart was well-nigh unrecognizable ... as I recall, it consisted of the Schubert "Ave Maria", "Immaculate Mary", "O Lord, I Am Not Worthy", and "Hail, Holy Queen" (it was the Feast of the Assumption). The priest said the Mass so fast that the congregation could barely answer him (this was the era of the Latin "dialogue" Mass). The organ, of course, was another four-rank Wicks, moved from the old church.   Vatican II didn't automatically open up RC culture, musical or otherwise. It's hard now to remember how CLOSED that culture was ... RCs were forbidden to attend services in protestant churches, even weddings and funerals of family members and friends; as late as the 1970s, I took a good deal of heat from the clergy and congregation at Old St. Mary's in Cincinnati for playing an ORGAN RECITAL at the Episcopal Cathedral.   I remember very well sitting in an early meeting in the Diocese of Cleveland where how to go about implementing the changes was being discussed. I suggested that we might look at the experience of the Anglicans, who had had a vernacular liturgy for 500 years, and who had done a great deal of the work we were proposing to do from scratch.   Enter the old Irish versus English cultural hatreds. I was told in no uncertain terms by the presiding auxiliary bishop that such thinking would get me fired, if not excommunicated. End of discussion.   It was only after the first wave of changes had swept away what little there was of RC liturgical music that clergy (and musicians) began to look around at what they might draw from other churches. And, having no context, they didn't automatically pick the best. Omer Westendorf made a valiant effort with World Library of Sacred Music and the People's Mass Book, but like J. Fischer and McLaughlin & Reilly, he went bankrupt. They all had too much invested in their Latin inventories. I well remember him standing on the loading dock at WLSM as we hauled off TRUCKLOADS of Latin music that we'd bought for ten cents on the dollar at the bankruptcy sale. He said to me, "Well, Bud, at least I know that it'll get sung at Old St. Mary's." Sad ...   There ARE signs that things are sorting themselves out ... there's at least a trickle of new pipe organs and organ "transplants" from Organ Clearing House in RC churches. Here and there, the Latin Missa Cantata has been re-established, to wide acclaim. I presume the magnificent Mander in the Jesuit church in NYC is NOT being used to accompany liturgical "songs" by the St. Louis Jesuits (grin)!   Some folks told me privately that I was too harsh in my assessment of Vatican II. OK, perhaps ... and it needs to be said that a lot of people who did a lot of damage in the name of Vatican II never read the documents, much less understood them. But I have to note that BEFORE Vatican II, churches were full, seminaries, monasteries and convents had vocations, and musicians at least had the POSSIBILITY of using the rich patrimony of RC music, from Chant to Palestrina to Mozart to Bruckner, etc.   And more important, the old liturgy nurtured some notable saints, even in this century. Does anyone remember a book from the sixties called "A Modern Priest Looks At His Outdated Church", or something like that? I think the author was Malcolm Boyd. The context was Anglican, but his flavor of iconoclasm was equally embraced in the RC church. I remember one passage in particular: he's describing how the old priests and nuns looked at the Cross with shining eyes; how they'd learned to say "Thy will be done" as children, and never looked back. He goes on to say what a BAD thing this is, for the usual '60s reasons ... "I gotta be me", "I gotta do MY thing", etc. We read the book in a study group, and when we finished that passage, we remarked that he'd unwittingly written an EXCELLENT description of what a religious vocation SHOULD be.   Well, I've gone on long enough ... I SHOULD be writing music for Holy Week.   Cheers,   BUD    
(back) Subject: Re: Bach Works From: Travis Evans <tle6399@seward.cune.edu> Date: Thu, 18 Feb 1999 18:45:20 -0500 (CDT)   I have a copy of the Orgelbuchlein, put out by CPH. It has a comentary on each chorale, the Figured-Bass Chorale, and the text that goes along with each. It also has an introduction that explains all about them. It is really usefull when learning them. I think I paid $25 for it.   Travis Evans   tle6399@seward.cune.edu tlevans@shawneelink.com   "When I hear music, I fear no evil"    
(back) Subject: Re: Vatican II From: cremona84000@webtv.net (bruce cornely) Date: Thu, 18 Feb 1999 19:54:21 -0500 (EST)     >I wonder what Jesus would say if He came to > earth and saw the mockery man is making of > His origional church. Well, the Book says that when things get really bad He'll return. Shouldn't be too long now! ... ;-)   bruce cornely cremona84000@webtv.net    
(back) Subject: Re: Vatican II From: cremona84000@webtv.net (bruce cornely) Date: Thu, 18 Feb 1999 19:58:25 -0500 (EST)     >...So many people wanting "the fix"....I call it > spiritual masturbation..... .... yikes! don't they know they'll go blind!!! ;-)   bruce cornely cremona84000@webtv.net    
(back) Subject: Re: Vatican II From: cremona84000@webtv.net (bruce cornely) Date: Thu, 18 Feb 1999 20:06:29 -0500 (EST)   We have just moved our concluding hymn to the place actually indicated in the missal, at the end of communion before the closing prayers and blessing. It worked very well on Ash Wedneday, and the priests said they liked "the way it felt." .... and especially liked having people not leaving during the hymn. We'll see if it continues this way or if they just decide that they can get out even earlier! ;-)   >... people remain until the end of the closing > hymn.   bruce cornely cremona84000@webtv.net    
(back) Subject: Re: Vatican II From: "V. David Barton" <vdbarton@erols.com> Date: Thu, 18 Feb 1999 20:09:55 -0500   Oh, I don't know; it seems to me that folks have been saying pretty much the same thing ever since he was here the first time. I wouldn't dread the second coming and the end of time, but I trust you'll forgive me if I don't hold my breath!   -----Original Message----- From: bruce cornely <cremona84000@webtv.net> To: PipeChat <pipechat@pipechat.org> Date: Thursday, February 18, 1999 7:55 PM Subject: Re: Vatican II       >I wonder what Jesus would say if He came to > earth and saw the mockery man is making of > His origional church. Well, the Book says that when things get really bad He'll return. Shouldn't be too long now! ... ;-)   bruce cornely cremona84000@webtv.net     "Pipe Up and Be Heard!" PipeChat: A discussion List for pipe/digital organs & related topics HOMEPAGE : http://www.pipechat.org List: mailto:pipechat@pipechat.org Administration: mailto:admin@pipechat.org Subscribe/Unsubscribe: mailto:requests@pipechat.org        
(back) Subject: The Second Coming (was "Vatican II") From: Bud/burgie <budchris@earthlink.net> Date: Thu, 18 Feb 1999 17:55:01 -0800   I don't know if folks on pipechat are as "into" theology and liturgy as they are on organchat, so I'll try and make this briefer than my usual dissertations (grin).   The "Dies irae" ("Day of Wrath, O Day of Mourning", 1940 Episcopal Hymnal #468, I believe) was originally the Sequence Hymn for the first Sunday in Advent. Advent (at one point lengthened to forty days to mirror Lent) was kept as a season of fast, not so much in preparation for the Christmas feast, but in preparation for the Second Coming. Putting the words of the "Dies irae" in THAT context makes a lot more sense than its later use in Requiems.   One of the things that until recently had been lost from the Christian consciousness was living in the expectation of Christ's early return, both in terms of an individual's death and in terms of The End Times. Unfortunately, some of the folks who are preaching The End Times nowadays seem to confuse cultural diversity with Signs of the End (grin).   The old adage given to newly-ordained priests is still valid: "celebrate every Mass as if it were your first; celebrate every Mass as if it were your last."   After three life-threatening illnesses, I have learned (at least somewhat ... old dogs and new tricks, y'know) to live in the moment and be thankful for THAT ... a sunset, a thunderstorm, an in-tune chord in the choir (naw, they're not THAT bad ... but every once in awhile they DO find The Lost Chord), the first bite of a crunchy, sour Granny Smith apple ... the mindless banter with my son, silly valentines from dignified middle-aged organists who ought to know better (and thank goodness they don't!) ...   This DOES have some connection with organs and organ-playing ... I told my choir the other night that I get excited when I'm sitting at my dining-room table writing music for them ... I can hear the sounds in my head, but I can't WAIT to hear them come to life. After forty years in church music and some pretty hard knocks along the way, THAT is an unsought and unmerited grace, to say the least. I STILL get a "rush" when I start the ordinary rituals of preparing for Sunday morning; I STILL shed a tear in the middle of the sentimental Victorian hymns ... and I had to flat-out STOP in the middle of "The Holy City" at choir practice ... not once, but TWICE, the second time being when we got to "and all who would might enter, and NO ONE was denied" ... I guess that makes me a Universalist high Anglican, yes/no? (grin).   I hope I come to the end of my career like Dr. Willan, who was way up in his eighties, and could barely get up the steps to the organ-loft, but who would then proceed to take the ROOF off of St. Mary Magdalen with his improvisations and his service-playing. He obviously still loved it as much as the first day he put his hands on the keyboards.   Cheers,   Bud    
(back) Subject: ADMIN NOTE Re: Vatican II From: Administrator <admin@pipechat.org> Date: Thu, 18 Feb 1999 21:16:26 -0600   Folks   We seem to be going off the deep end with this thread and I don't like some of the posts that I have seen tonight. Please drop it now.   Thanks and let's get back to things more on topic.   David **************************************** David Scribner Co-Owner / Technical Administrator PipeChat   850-478-9635 mailto:david@blackiris.com  
(back) Subject: The Second Coming (was "Vatican II") From: "Judy A. Ollikkala" <71431.2534@compuserve.com> Date: Thu, 18 Feb 1999 22:15:01 -0500   Thank you for that discourse, Bud, it made my day, and made me feel more valued and useful as well! I genuinely hope you will be like Healey Willan, only with better mobility at the age of eighty!!  
(back) Subject: Re: RE: Vatican II From: Afreed0904@aol.com Date: Thu, 18 Feb 1999 22:42:14 EST     In a message dated 2.18.99 9:23:04 AM, clmoney@cybernex.net writes:   <<some of that stuff [Kumbaya, Michael's Oars] has crept into several protestant churches>>   If I'm not mistaken, it has crept back and forth several times in the past 50 years that I remember. Maybe each group is pushing it out the door, and it goes looking for sanctuary (he he) elsewhere.   Alan  
(back) Subject: Re: Michael: Row! From: Afreed0904@aol.com Date: Thu, 18 Feb 1999 22:37:10 EST     In a message dated 2.18.99 9:12:56 AM, dgoward@uswest.net writes:   <<Say what you want about Pentecostal churches and their lack of musical heritage and tradition,>>   Well, if you do, perhaps a different list would be a politically advisable venue.   Alan         Just kidding, Dennis!  
(back) Subject: Re: Vatican II From: "John L. Speller" <jlspeller@stlnet.com> Date: Thu, 18 Feb 1999 22:29:41 -0600 (CST)   At 08:06 PM 2/18/99 -0500, Bruce Cornely wrote:   >We have just moved our concluding hymn to the place actually indicated >in the missal, at the end of communion before the closing prayers and >blessing. It worked very well on Ash Wedneday, and the priests said >they liked "the way it felt."   This certainly appears to be the way the Episcopal BCP would like you to do things too. It is certainly not liturgically the thing to have a recessional. As a kind of compromise at our church -- and many churches seem to do this -- we have the prayer after communion, the blessing, then a hymn during which the clergy and acolytes etc. process to the west end (we have a gallery choir and there is nowhere for them to process), and then the dismissal. My wife (who is the rector of our church) and I are of one mind that it would be better to have the hymn after communion as you say, but this leaves the problem of how the clergy and acolytes would then escape. I guess one could have some wallpaper organ music, but then that wouldn't be great from the liturgical point of view either. So what *does* one do?   John.    
(back) Subject: Re: Vatican II From: cremona84000@webtv.net (bruce cornely) Date: Thu, 18 Feb 1999 23:57:39 -0500 (EST)     >...it would be better to have the hymn after > communion as you say, but this leaves the > problem of how the clergy and acolytes would > then escape. I guess one could have some > wallpaper organ music, but then that wouldn't > be great from the liturgical point of view > either. So what *does* one do? Now come on, John. There's nothing wrong with people walking while music is being played! ;-) Our procession exits during the beginning of the closing voluntary; it's actually sort of dramatic and solemn. This way the priest can give the final blessing and then say "The Mass is ended. Go in peace to love and serve the Lord" (then gritting his teeth give the congregation that "BUT NOT BEFORE ME" look!) hehehe   bruce cornely cremona84000@webtv.net    
(back) Subject: What to do with the final hymn From: Bud/burgie <budchris@earthlink.net> Date: Thu, 18 Feb 1999 21:07:00 -0800   Processions-whilst-singing, except real liturgical processions like Candlemas, Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, the Rogations, Corpus Christi, etc. are virtually unknown in the English church. The choir enters the stalls silently, either during the organ voluntary or during the change-ringing (if there is no voluntary). And they depart the same way at the end. Hymns (if indeed there are any ... and there aren't in many cathedrals and collegiate churches, except for special services specifically for a congregation) are sung in situ. The sole exception I can think of is "Once In Royal David's City" at King's Lessons and Carols, but that IS A service "for the people".   My English rector in high school did away with the "long procession" at the beginning and end of Mass many years ago. The choir came in "by the quire door" toward the end of the voluntary; THEN they sang the first hymn. We did sing a hymn after the Blessing; THEN I played the choir out, waited for the candles to be put out, and began the closing voluntary.   At St. Matthew's, we DO make the long loop-de-loop procession, up to the front, reverence the altar, and back to the choir area by the side aisles, (and then the reverse at the end) but they regard it slightly differently: the sacred ministers (including the choir) are to reverence the Blessed Sacrament at the beginning and end of Mass (or, "nod to God", as E.Y.R. jokingly calls it). I don't know if we'll continue to do that when we're in a loft with stairs to climb, but many of my RC choirs did.   As to the post-communion hymn being the last hymn, I'm of two minds ... it makes more sense in the current RC and Episcopal liturgies, where there's very little between the post-communion hymn and the final hymn. We have the General Thanksgiving, and 1-3 post-communion collects, and then the Blessing; at least during Christmastide we also still have the Last Gospel, so there's more of a break between the two hymns. I like having the service end on an "up" note ... I try to pick real barn-burners for the recessional hymns most of the time, 'cause THAT'S what they're gonna remember about the service (grin)!   Cheers,   BUD        
(back) Subject: Re: Bach Works From: <jorge.gomez@nuclenor.es> Date: Fri, 19 Feb 99 10:35:51 +0100       I have the NBA (Neue Bach Ausgabe, 8 volumes, Barenreiter). It includes the chorale melodies and text. I have also the Neumeister chorales from NBA in a separate volume.   The eight volumes of the NBA do not contain some interesting works, for example Fantasia and Fugue in A minor. Anybody knows if there is any volumes that contains these works?   Thanks   Jorge Gomez      
(back) Subject: Re: What to do with the final hymn From: "Mark Harris" <M.Harris@Admin.lon.ac.uk> Date: Fri, 19 Feb 1999 09:44:29 GMT     BUD wrote:   > Processions-whilst-singing, except real liturgical processions like Candlemas, > Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, the Rogations, Corpus Christi, etc. are virtually > unknown in the English church.   I beg to differ. The practice is certainly alive and well at my church (All Saints with St Michael, Edmonton, London). I should know: I'm crucifer quite regularly. The only time we didn't do it was the 8 p.m. Holy Communion service this past Ash Wednesday, when there was no choir (and not much of a congregation!).   Regards,   Mark Harris =========