REVIEWS Choral Music
This Ferris. organ.
is the day that the Lord has made, by William SATB, with brass, timpani, cymbals and Paraclete Press, No. PPM00202FS.
An imaginative, large-scale setting of selected verses from Psalm 118 by the late Chicago conduc tor and composer, this would work well for a big festival occasion. The choral writing is quite chal lenging, the instrumental parts somewhat less so. This piece could be performed just with voices and organ-the trumpet and percussion parts are not es sential. Ferris always responded with considerable originality to texts which appealed to him, and I find this one of his most convincing works. Choirmasters with large, technically proficient choirs should give this a try.
Prof. Calvert Shenk
Jesu, dulcis memoria by Randall Giles, Alternatim hymn for SATB, unaccompanied. Paraclete Press, No. PPM00213
The well-known plainsong tune alternates with lovely flowing polyphonic verses. The harmonies are rich and mildly dissonant, with the plainsong ap pearing in the soprano voice in verse 2, in the tenor in verse 4, and in the alto in the"Amen". This should be within the capacities of most well-trained parish choirs. Caswall's translation, extended to fit the metre, appears below the Latin text.
In a message to a conference held at Salesian University in Rome this February Pope John Paul II emphasized that Latin remains the official language of the Catholic Church, and expressed his desire that "the love of that language would grow ever strong among candidates for the priesthood." The confer ence itself was commemorating the 40th anniversary of Veterum Sapientia the apostolic constitution which Pope John XXIII wrote of the importance of Latin as an important part of "the patrimony of human civi lization.
Holy Week ceremonies for the Latin Tridentine Community of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee in cluded the chanting of the St. Matthew Passion by
(Synagoga) and Fr. Robert Skeris (Christus) on Palm Sunday (March 24th) and of the St. John Passion on
Good Friday with the same persons except for Robert Willard singing the Synagoga part.
Holy Thursday and the Palestrina's Christi Munera on Easter Sunday.
'1f Voci del Tesoro (Voices of the Treasure), a California based mixed choir directed by Diana Dallman Silva, gave a series of Lenten concerts featuring chant, polyphony, classical and 20th century sacred music. Voci del Tersoro is a touring choir of professional mu sicians dedicated to the prayerful presentation of the Catholic Church's finest music through sacred con certs and liturgies. The choir's web site is www.vo cideltesoro.org.
'1f On May 4th, the Christendom College Choir per formed Palestrina's Missa Papae Marcelli at a concert of sacred music held in the college's Chapel of Christ the King and then on May 12th performed it at the Traditional Roman Rite Indult Mass at Old St. Mary's Church in Washington D.C.
Kerry McCarthy is a graduate of Reed College and a Ph.D. candidate in musicology under Professor William Mahrt at Stanford University, where she is active in both the theory and practice of early sacred music. She is assistant director and cantor with the St. Ann Choir in Palo Alto, California.
Professor Calvert Shenk is Associate Professor of Music at Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit, Michigan.
Benjamin Smedberg is Director of Music and Organist at St. Patrick's Church in Washington, D.C.