Seeing the Familiar in a New Light: Denise Bossert’s “Gifts of the Visitation”


Devotion to the Blessed Virgin has never come to me naturally. I knew the reasons for such devotion, the rightness of it, even the necessity for it.  My parents prayed the rosary with us almost nightly, and my father’s visceral, Irish faith was never more obvious than when he spoke of “Our Mother”.  But as [Read More...]

A Lenten Musical Journey, Day 32


Returning to my ancestral roots with “Quis Est Homo,” plucked from one of Czech composer František Ignác Antonín Tůma’s five setting of the “Stabat Mater.” (Yep. Five. Also, the whole setting is really wonderful. So HERE.) Quis est homo qui non fleret,Matrem Christi si videretIn tanto supplicio? Quis non posset contristari,Christi Matrem contemplariDolentem cum Filio? Is there one [Read More...]

A Lenten Musical Journey, Day 31


Antonio Lotti’s “Crucifixus.” The whole piece is powerful stuff, but I would call your attention in particular to the section that begins at the 1:50 mark, where Lotti transitions from “Pontio Pilato” to the suffering and burial of Christ. An astonishing moment. Crucifixus etiam pro nobis sub Pontio Pilato: Passus, et sepultus est. He was [Read More...]

A Lenten Musical Journey, Day 30


I’m always amazed at how little music there is that has been written in honor of Saint Joseph. Somehow, I suspect he’s pleased by that fact. But at the same time, it makes finding an appropriate musical selection for today’s feast a bit of a challenge. (I couldn’t very well ignore it, could I? It’s [Read More...]

A Lenten Musical Journey, Day 29


Sticking with the film composer theme I started yesterday, here an instrumental meditation from Polish composer/Gorecki compatriot Wojciech Kilar, written for the 1991 film based on the last days of Saint Maximilian Kolbe, Zycie za zycie (Life for Life). I’ve never seen the film (though Steven Greydanus’ various pieces encourage me to remedy that fact), but the soundtrack has been [Read More...]

A Lenten Musical Journey, Day 28


In recent years, I’ve made a point of posting the Lorica of St. Patrick in honor of the day’s feast. Past posts have included the famous version from Sir Charles Villiers Stanford, a setting of the middle section of the prayer by contemporary composer John Rutter, and a setting of that same section by also-contemporary composer Bernard Sexton. Today, though, [Read More...]

A Lenten Musical Journey, Day 27


I can never stay away from Bach for long. As evidenced by today’s selection, his “Komm, süßer Tod:” Komm, süßer Tod, komm selge Ruh! Komm führe mich in Friede, Weil ich der Welt bin müde, Ach komm! ich wart auf dich, Komm bald und führe mich, Drück mir die Augen zu. Komm, selge Ruh!  Come, sweet death, come blessed rest! Come lead [Read More...]

A Lenten Musical Journey, Day 26


Jumping the gun on St. Joseph’s feast just a bit, but I simply cannot help myself. And so, here’s another Bruckner motet for today, this time his soaring, searing “Os Justi Meditabitur.” (Bonus brass version HERE.) Os justi meditabitur sapientiam, et lingua ejus loquetur judicium. Lex Dei ejus in corde ipsius: et non supplantabuntur gressus [Read More...]

A Lenten Musical Journey, Day 25


In keeping with our (albeit brief) Saturday tradition, here is “Quando corpus morietur” from the Stabat Mater of Luigi Boccherini. (I didn’t even know Boccherini had a Stabat Mater until I started this project. Very cool!) Quando corpus morietur, Fac, ut animæ donetur Paradisi Gloria. Amen When my body dies Grant that to my soul is [Read More...]

A Lenten Musical Journey, Day 24


Today, “Christus Factus Est,” from Anton Bruckner. Christus factus est pro nobis obediens usque ad mortem, mortem autem crucis. Propter quod et Deus exaltavit illum et dedit illi nomen, Christ became obedient for us unto death, even to the death, death on the cross. Therefore God exalted Him and gave Him a name which is [Read More...]