Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Ash Wednesday Music Lists

Only a brief selection, but:
  • If you are in Sydney, either go to the 5.30 pm Mass at St Mary's Cathedral (for Mass XVIII, the Lent Prose, Allegri's Miserere, Byrd's Emendemus in melius and other music in the best traditions of the Roman Rite) or to the 7.00 pm Mass at St Francis of Assisi, Paddington (for, so I am informed, Byrd's Mass for Five Voices, the Lent Prose, Purcell's Remember not, Lord, our offences and other beautiful choral music); 
  • If you are in London, of the many havens of musical and liturgical excellence, I note only Westminster Cathedral (due to lack of time to post other, and the easy accessibility of the WC music list) - there you will hear Mass XVIII, the Lent Prose, Miserere mei by Casciolini (not a setting with which I am acquainted) and Emendemus in melius by Gabrieli (which Gabrieli is not specified), among other music. 

Emendemus in melius - A setting by Morales

Australia has new Nuncio

Archbishop Gallagher's successor as Apostolic Nuncio to Australia has been announced: it is Archbishop Adolfo Tito Yllana of the Republic of the Philippines, latterly Apostolic Nuncio to the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Australian Bishops' Conference has the details, including the new Nuncio's curriculum vitae.

Some further details from a 2002 article at the time of His Excellency's appointment as Nuncio to Papua New Guinea:
"Archbishop Yllana, 54, was ordained a priest in 1972 for the Archdiocese of Caceres, based in Naga City, 225 kilometers southeast of Manila.
He had served as assistant pastor of Caceres Cathedral Parish in Naga and became seminary professor.
After earning his doctorate in canon and civil law in Rome and completing his studies at the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy, a diplomat school there, the archbishop served as attache and second secretary in the Apostolic Nunciatures in Ghana, Togo, Benin and Sri Lanka.
At the time of his appointment to Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, he was serving in the Taipei-based Apostolic Nunciature in China.
Archbishop Yllana is the second Filipino apostolic nuncio. The other, Archbishop Oswaldo Padilla, is assigned in Nigeria."
See also this article from 2009.

Felicitations to His Excellency, he will be warmly received, especially by Australia's vibrant Filipino Catholic community.

Friday, 30 January 2015

Westminster Cathedral Choir's slick new website

This modest little blog has recently had a makeover, and now I see that Westminster Cathedral Choir has a dedicated website, and it's rather nice looking too:

Here's a screenshot of the home page:

Saturday, 24 January 2015

J.S. Bach and P.G. Wodehouse

Upon watching the fabulous performance of the Bach Christmas Oratorio from December last year under Maestro Jacobs, I couldn't help but be distracted by the tenor - lovely voice but such an odd choice of shirt to don.

Couldn't help but be reminded of:

Solemn Pontifical Mass with Dedication of the Altar celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI, Sydney, 19 July 2008

Splendid - at long last the full video found on YouTube. Sound quality is disgraceful, but it will have to do. There is commentary in French, including right over the top of a beautiful account of the Palestrina Tu es Petrus (see from around the 40 second mark).

Monday, 19 January 2015

A bastardised Weihnachtsoratorium - and some great ones

Oh dear, why must everything good be ruined by dance?

This is a favourite under maestro Harnoncourt:

And here's a recent performance conducted by Rene Jacobs (recorded 13 December 2014). Must be a record opening chorus - all over in just 6:30 (7:00 to 8:00 is the usual)! As always Jacobs questions the received wisdom and pushes his instruments and singers to their limits - sometimes at the expense of musicality. But there's no question that the maestro elicits some very fine music making. Chamber orchestra and choir are of the first class. Enjoy the thrill of it, or click here to watch the also exciting but musically safer Gardiner performance from his Bach pilgrimage in 2000.

Saturday, 17 January 2015