Build Your Faith

Build Your Faith

Redemptionis? Pronto, subito!

That last time I endured listening to a recording of Capella Sixtina I was in a choral seminar in grad school, in my advisor’s office (only five students IIRC.) I squirmed and shrank as he gleefully put on a CD that, at the time, was the last aural evidence of the death spiral Roman Catholic choral music had chosen after the “Golden Era, pre-Monteverdi,” with Vatican II as a chaser.

Downloaded and listening to CANTATE DOMINO, Capella Sistina, released September 25, 2015. I neither squirm nor shrink, but at first blush, I haven’t deciphered exactly what I’m listening to. It is truly “other” in so many realms. I intend to revisit it in depth many times via many different audio platforms, as that seems a necessity. But for us Catholic/Choralist/Musicians who concern themselves with such doings as what marks a bell-weather moment in our cultural history, I can readily attest this may be one of those. I will do a thorough review in the near future.

Random thoughts:

*Maestro Monsignor Palombella is to be reckoned with. Sonically, environmentally (spatially), his vision is laudable for its self-evidence. I’ve never been to Rome, remedied hopefully this January, but now I’ve a familiarity, once removed, of the ambient of the Papal Chapel. This collection has been recorded and mastered with intent and purpose, which many choral projects don’t receive if they’re studio efforts.

*Aesthetically and pedagogically I feel I’m wandering through a Venetian Masqued Carnivale of tonal complexity. The only remnant of the screamers are a couple of tenore primo’s who occasionally show up with a tempered down throaty vibrato in a mixed head-voice concoction. When that happens on the heels of the fully blended, floating tenor chanters, I wonder how many choral colors Maestro has up his sleeve.

*Which leads to the boys, the blessed boys. By Lord, they are set free. Maybe I doth project too much but I can see their little swarthy Mediterranean faces, eyes forward instead of up thankfully, sounding….well….Italian and pure! No Kings College, but no squawking hatchlings of old either. Now and then some pitch issues, but perfection I don’t think is Maestro’s goal, integrity and honor are I’d guess.

*There remains an equally swarthy manliness in the bass/baritones, but without the “watch me flex” muscularity that was so distracting under previous regimes. This is most evident in the “Adoramus te Christe,” where both the deep cardinal tones are refined with a measured but certainly present vibrato.

This is a collection of note and ought to be listened to repeatedly and discussed not only in Catholic music circuses, but also in the larger choral world. Could this be yet another renaissance, but in our lifetime?

DFWCatholic "Recommended Reads"

15 Bad College Student Habits!

Working with college students for as long as I have, I have noticed a LOT of bad habits. But, these have to be some of the worst. 15 Bad College Student Habits Texting and Driving. I see you. Everyone sees you. In fact, I think I saw a dozen students texting and driving while coming […]

Build Your Faith

Ad multos annos!

CMAA members in the Washington DC area will be interested to know of a beautiful priestly anniversary.Rev. Msgr. Andrew Wadsworth was ordained 25 years ago this Wednesday, September 30.Please join me in wishing him many happy years!


Catalan bishops: Church can’t make specific proposals on independence from Spain

Barcelona, Spain, Sep 29, 2015 / 06:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Catalan regional bishops conference last Tuesday issued a statement ahead of Sunday’s regional election – widely seen as an informal referendum on independence – saying the Church will not propose specifics, but can agree with positions that have “moral legitimacy.”

Catalonia is an autonomous community in northeastern Spain centered on Barcelona, which in recent years has seen agitation for independence from Spain.

The region’s Sept. 27 elections bolstered the separatist movement, with the Junts pel Si Party (Together For Yes) winning 62 of the regional parliament’s 135 seats. If it allies with the Popular Unity Party, which is also pro-independence, it will have a parliamentary majority.

In their Sept. 22 statement anticipating the election, the Catalan bishops said they “confirm it is not the Church’s place to propose a specific option, but they do defend the moral legitimacy of all political options that are based on the dignity of persons and peoples and that perseveringly seek peace, solidarity and justice.”

They also referred to an earlier statement, in which they had recognized “the considerable historic importance” this vote can have for the Catalan Parliament and so they consequently wanted to “contribute to the reflections of all the citizens of Catalonia, with the light that comes to us from the Gospel of Jesus Christ, aware that decisive questions on the institutional, political, and social level are in play.”

“Within the democratic framework, we believe that our voice as well, presented  in a spirit of service, can enrich the current debate on the present and future of our country,” the bishops of Catalonia noted.

They also recalled  their “love for the Catalonian homeland, which the Church has desired to serve from its beginnings, and our respect for the legitimate diversity of the options that will be voted on.”

The Catalan prelates recognized that “new challenges and new aspirations that affect the specific form in which the people of Catalonia should articulate (their position) and how they wish to fraternally relate with the other peoples in Spain, in the European context” “have become clearer still with the passage of time and taken on greater intensity.”

They added that “the duty of all citizens to actively participate in the elections as a way of exercising their own responsibility in the search for the common good,” especially “in a crucial moment such as we are going through, which can have long lasting consequences.”

In this way they asked the citizens of Catalonia to express themselves through their vote, “keeping in mind the great values that society must be built upon, such as the respect for the rights of persons, families and institutions, as well as the honesty and transparency of the political process.”

The Catalan bishops’ statement came shortly after Cardinal  Antonio Cañizares Llovera of Valencia (capital of the Valencian Community) had requested prayers for the unity of Spain.

Spain did not emerge as a unified country until the 16th century, consisting until then of regional kingdoms and language groups, whose legacy continues to impact Spanish national life and politics.

Catalonia has its own languages, Catalan and Occitan, beside Spanish, and Catalan nationalism developed in the late 19th century.

Following Sunday’s elections, the Junts pel Si party leaders said he will push for independence. The Spanish prime minister has said he will not discuss Spanish unity, but is prepared to listen to the new Calatan parliament.

Hide me
Sign up below to have the hottest Catholic news delivered to your email daily!
Enter your email address:
Show me
Menu Title