Saturday, March 26, 2011

Out of context

I found it disconcerting recently to hear that Byrd's Mass for Five Voices is to be sung in the "atmospheric surroundings of St Peter's"[Partick].

If they are going to sing a Mass in a Catholic Church, why not sing it as a Mass. Or does the Archdiocese see plainchant and polyphony as a museum piece rather than living liturgy?

So it's Byrd for the well-heeled, West End bien-pensants and 'If-I-Were-A-Fuzzy-Wuzzy-Bear-I'd-Thank-You-Lord-For-My-Fuzzy-Wuzzy-Hair' for the punters on a Sunday morning.

Great.

A bit like Psalm 50 sung in an art gallery without the slightest belief, I hazard to guess, that the Almighty blot out their iniquities (but I may be being presumptious there).

Form without content. The decay of the West writ large.

2 Comments:

Blogger Gregory the Eremite said...

Well, if it's any consolation we just sang Byrd's five part mass as part of the first mass to be held at the high altar of York Minster for 450 years! Oh, in the extraordinary form, as well.

It was wonderful!

6:41 PM  
Blogger Paulinus said...

I don't think I could think of a better way to celebrate Holy Mass. You lucky man.

7:44 PM  

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