CategoryMusic

Worship is a Duty

One of my favorite Advent songs is also one of the most ancient: Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence. Its composition and use dates from at least AD 275, although the most commonly used melodic setting is the well-known Picardy. Be sure to listen to one of the following renditions: As I was pondering the lyrics, I noticed that they seemed to form a conjunction with other thoughts I had been having...

Atlas: Year One Album Review

I do not usually proactively seek out new music, so I make no pretensions about uncovering anything hitherto unknown. But whenever I come across new music (even if it’s only new to me) that instantly entrances me and engrosses my attention, it’s difficult to not want to share, even at the risk of peddling what may be old hat. Sleeping At Last (composed of one Ryan O’Neal) is, as far as I can...

Harmony

One way to ensure (or at least greatly contribute to) marital bliss is to frequently employ that most effective of weapons, the Date Night. Love may cover a multitude of sins, but Date Night can cover over the myriad annoyances, bouts of forgetfulness, and simple obliviousness that assaults most men in their attempts to find peace and harmony in home and hearth with the women they love and...

Deas Vail Review

I have always been a fan of Deas Vail’s music since I first heard Shoreline. My wife and I even went to a concert where Deas Vail was the opening act, and stayed only for them, giving Copeland the snub. (Normally we wouldn’t have done that, but the venue was terrible in that the musical nuances that both Copeland and Deas Vail are known for were overwhelmed by the audio...

Photography: Cutter Gage

Two weekends ago I had the opportunity to have a photo shoot with Cutter Gage. Cutter is one of my colleagues at work and is an extremely talented musician/songwriter/worship leader.
He also has amazing shoes.
Seriously.

Audivi Vocem De Caelo

I happened across this piece on one of my Pandora stations, and had to share. This setting of Audivi Vocem De Caelo was composed by Duarte Lobo, a Portugese composer who lived in the late 16th to early 17th centuries. This motet is a short verse intended for the Office of the Dead. Lobo creates an interesting effect with the sort of call and response, which underscores the beauty and mystery of...

O Magnum Mysterium

This selection of O Magnum Mysterium was composed in 1572 by Tomas Luis de Victoria. O Magnum Mysterium is a setting of Matins for Christmas, and has been explored by numerous other composers, Palestrina, Gabrieli and Byrd notable among them. Latin: O magnum mysterium et admirabile sacramentum, ut animalia viderent Dominum natum jacentem in praesepio. O beata Virgo, cujus viscera meruerunt...

Jesu, Rex Admirabilis

This hauntingly captivating piece is from Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, who was one of the most influential composers of the Renaissance. Latin: Jesu, rex admirabilis et triumphator nobilis, dulcedo ineffabilis, totus desiderabilis, mane nobiscum, Domine, et nos illustra lumine, pulsa mentis caligine, mundum reple ducedine. English: Jesu, Prince ever-glorious! Thou Lord of Hosts victorious...

Caligaverunt oculi mei

This beautiful piece by Tomás Luis de Victoria is a responsory for Tenebrae. Caligaverunt oculi mei is intended for Good Friday and is #12 of de Victoria’s responsories. Perhaps the most striking feature of this work is the piercing soprano solo during the words si est dolor similis sicut dolor meus. (see if there is any pain like my pain) It is as if the vocal part takes on the cry of...

Ad Te Levavi

Ad te levavi is an introit sung during the first Sunday of Advent. As the church cycle begins, a song of hope and reliance of God is lifted to the heavens, this cry for help and deliverance forming the structure of all that is to come, a musical anticipation of Christ’s advent and the salvation of the world. Before the proliferation of the printing press, musical memory was an important...

Sitivit Anima Mea

This antiphon was composed by Frei Manuel Cardoso for use during the Matins of the Dead. (Matins is the first canonical hour, occurring at sunrise.) Sitivit anima mea (‘my soul has thirsted’) comes from Psalm 42, and the text is as follows: Sitivit anima mea ad Deum fortem vivum, Quando veniam et apparebo ante faciem Dei mei, Quis dabit mihi penas sicut columbae Et volabo et...

Miserere Mei

It is Good Friday. You bow your head in prayer in the utter stillness of the early morning, as the darkness envelops you as a blanket, the flickering of candles the only bulwark from its over-powering presence. On the tomb-like chill of the air floats the faint and lingering fragrance of incense, like the dew that clings to the newly sprouted grass, only to dissipate in the vernal warmth of the...

Media Vita In Morte Sumus

This beautiful example of Ambrosian chant is Nicolas Gombert’s arrangement of the classic responsory Media Vita in Morte Sumus, which translated essentially means in the midst of life we are in death. It is generally sung during Lent at the office of Compline, and is reputed to have moved St. Aquinas to tears.[1. Lawrence Lew, OP, ] The Latin text is as follows: Media vita in morte sumus...

Jason Watson

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