Friday, April 25, 2008

Faure's Requiem

Well, I got to hear Faure's Requiem mass for the first time tonight. And guess where I heard it? The spring music festival at my Protestant University. Go figure. It definitely is one of the most beautiful settings. I have heard of Catholic Churches last year on All Soul's day who sang this setting for the mass. I am not sure though how they would do that since, the Sanctus is missing the last half of the text, and the Agnus Dei is followed immediately by the communion chant. I'll have to ask some other musicians how they handle that. The only thing that would have made it more complete tonight was if the men in the university choir sang the Dies Irae " :-)
I would like to point out that doing the actual chants of the requiem mass, or a choral setting of them on All Soul's Day, is a wonderful way to introduce people to a more solemn funeral mass. I do not doubt that most people would be deeply moved by its beauty and start to ask why such music is not done regularly for funeral masses. The chants for a requiem mass are certainly known for being some of the most beautiful in the Gregorian repertoire. Just pointing out that this is something I hope as a musician, to do someday. Feasts like All Souls, Corpus Christi, Candlemas, etc. are wonderful opportunities to reestablish liturgical and musical traditions and expose the faithful to their beauty in a non-coercive way.

As a side note, I do have other interests besides liturgy and its music ;-)
I am so excited for tomorrow night! I will be going to the grand reopening of the Sunnybrook Ballroom in Pottstown PA for an awesome night of swing dancing and socializing. I plan to take pictures and maybe I will post some here.

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