A Lenten Musical Journey, Day 44


The Matthäuspassion of Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev, my first (and to this day, most moving) encounter with his music. Wonderfully meditative, preparatory stuff. Attribution(s): “Bells” provided by Shutterstock. [Read more...]

A Lenten Musical Journey, Day 43


Today, the Matthäus Passion of Gottfried August Homilius. I’m not terribly familiar with him as a composer, so I had to do a bit of hunting to find out more. According to (the ever-reliable) Wikipedia, he was “a German composer, cantor and organist,” “one of the most important church composers of the generation following Bach’s,” and “the [Read More...]

A Lenten Musical Journey, Day 42


Georg Philipp Telemann wrote a Matthäus Passion. I did not know this. …which, by extension, means that I also did not know that he’d written more than forty musical reflections on Christ’s Passion. That’s right. OVER 40! So, here’s his Paßions-Musik nach dem Evangelisten Matthäus (TWV 5:31) from 1746. It feels almost mild when compared to some of [Read More...]

A Lenten Musical Journey, Day 41


Passion Week has begun. And so, here’s an unusual Matthaus-Passion from the influential German composer, Heinrich Schütz. The Introitus and Beschluss are my favorite parts, because they’re a bit more complex musically, and the rest feels a bit like a long recitative. But listening to the whole thing (with the text) is a really wonderful meditation. If the name [Read More...]

A Lenten Musical Journey, Day 40


Another example of a work I stumbled across quite by accident. Again, from someone I’ve never even heard of before. And again, a really wonderful revelation. Its composer, Mateusz Dębski, is a young Polish musician who won First Place in a Choral Composition competition in 2006 with this very work. It might just be me, [Read More...]

A Lenten Musical Journey, Day 39


Today’s bit of Lenten musical meditation is the “Paradisi gloria” from the “Stabat Mater” of Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev. The entire piece can be found here — that’s the world-premiere recording from 2012, courtesy of the Metropolitan’s YouTube channel — and while the sound quality is less than ideal, it’s fascinating and evocative stuff. The Metropolitan [Read More...]

A Lenten Musical Journey, Day 38


No, I’m not done with Bach this Lent. Not yet. Not by a long shot. Here’s the “Crucifixus” from his masterful, transcendent Mass in B minor. Crucifixus etiam pro nobis sub Pontio Pilato, passus, et sepultus est. And was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate: suffered, and was buried. Attribution(s): “Cristo crucificado” by Diego [Read More...]

A Lenten Musical Journey, Day 37


Today’s piece is “Surely He has borne our griefs” by Kevin Sadowski. I don’t even know who this “Kevin Sadowski” fellow is. I stumbled across the recording by accident while researching #MyLentInMusic entries, and was transfixed. (I was searching for something else entirely, and the recording “Lamentations: Music of Tenebrae” by the ProMusica of Washington [Read More...]

A Lenten Musical Journey, Day 36


In honor of today’s feast, the opening chorus from Bach’s Annunciation cantata, Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern (How beautifully the morning star shines). The cantata, which can be found in its entirety here, is based on the hymn “Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern” by Philipp Nicolai. Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern Voll Gnad und Wahrheit von dem [Read More...]

“I Don’t Have to Belong to the Catholic Church to Be in Love with Mary”

Dolores Maria

I love composers who love Mary. So I suppose my long-standing affection for the music of Morten Lauridsen should come as no surprise. Mr. Lauridsen, who has been described by musicologist Nick Strimple as “the only American composer in history who can be called a mystic” and who often spends his summers composing in seclusion on Waldron [Read More...]