Palestrina Mass - Buffalo - March 6 2011

I was thurifer!

Pipe organ at the start / end is “nails down a blackboard” but the polyphony & chant is beautiful.


Music from heaven.

I cannot even begin to describe the sense of awe I experienced while watching that video. Thank you for posting it.

Why is the organ so bad? The only complaint I have about it is that it could have been alittle more subdued, since it was the Sunday before Lent, but otherwise, it wasn’t bad.

Which Palestrina Mass is this? I heard “Sicut Cervus” somewhere in there, but I know that that is a separate motet from the Mass setting.

I find the organ appropriate and well executed, commensurate with what is called for by the occasion and in accordance with what would have been done at a Traditional Mass during the baroque period. The music is early baroque, Italian I am guessing, but I cannot place it beyond that. If you want inappropriate processional music prior to a solemn service, listen to the Darth Vader music they wrote for the pope at Westminster Cathedral (not an E.F. Mass, but that really shouldn’t matter).

The introductory titles say that this is the Pope Marcellus Mass. The motet that someone heard “sicut cervus” in appears to be sung during the offertory, again as was traditional. What is slightly odd is that they break for the consecration between the Sanctus between the Sanctus proper and the Pleni sunt coeli, rather than between the Sanctus and the Benedictus. Maybe the priest told them he would not wait that long?

Finally, at the end you may notice that the organ is playing the hymn introduction to Tallis’ Canon, an Anglican hymn tune (usually sung to the words “All Praise to Thee My God This Night” but used for other texts as well). Then there is–I think–a break in the video before the organ prelude. Apparently they sang a not particularly Catholic hymn after Mass. How that was related to anything I have no idea.

I’m not sure what the ocasion was, but if it was something like a rededication, then I can see why the organ music at the beginning was so festive. I’m just used to hearing more subdued preludes at both the OF and EF at our parish. On the other hand, our organist and music director often pulls out many of the stops for the postludes.

Concerning the Tallis piece, I have no problems with any of his music, since he, like William Byrd, was secretly a Catholic during the reign of Elizabeth I, and was persecuted for it. I like Byrd’s music a lot more than Tallis’s, but that’s just my personal prefference.

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