Pétéris Vasks: Dona Nobis Pacem

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-eC3aWXX_w&w=420&h=315] Most people today no longer possess beliefs, love and ideals. The spiritual dimension has been lost. My intention is to provide food for the soul and this is what I preach in my works.  (Latvian composer Peteris Vasks) This a a performance by the Choeur et orchestre de chambre Estonien, directed by Paul [Read More…]

Arvo Pärt: Kanon Pokajanen – – Ode I

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QkVRo3Wt9HM&w=560&h=315] Many years ago, when I first became involved in the tradition of the Russian Orthodox Church, I came across a text that made a profound impression on me although I cannot have understood it at the time. It was the Canon of Repentance. Since then I have often returned these verses, slowly and [Read More…]

Gerard Manley Hopkins: May Magnificat

May is Mary’s month, and I Muse at that and wonder why: Her feasts follow reason, Dated due to season— Candlemas, Lady Day; But the Lady Month, May, Why fasten that upon her, With a feasting in her honour? Is it only its being brighter Than the most are must delight her? Is it opportunest [Read More…]

Daniel M. Bell Jr: On Atonement, Judgment & Gift

Read rightly, Anselm’s account of the atonement is finally not economic. It is not a matter of debt, of juridical equity and restitution, of compensatory loss or penal suffering. As Anselm says, in accord with standard precepts of medieval theology, God needs nothing and no necessity compels God to act as God does in redeeming [Read More…]

Et incarnatus est

Here is a wonderful version of Et incarnatus est, from Mozart’s Great Mass in C, with John Eliot Gardiner as conductor and Barbara Bonney as soloist: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2LGb9HWSUU] Compare this to another outstanding rendition, with Leonard Bernstein and Arleen Auger: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJJT108WZ7o] [Read more…]

Arvo Part: Symphony # 4. 1st movement

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9YOCwjqCaE] [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13CiRd-n-5A] [Read more…]

Handel: Every Valley Shall Be Exalted (Messiah)

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCFp9AJM3vo] [Read more…]

Vox Nova at the Jazz Concert: Miles Davis. So What?

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RjwVwASlVn4] Something for the weekend. Here are Miles Davis and John Coltrane in a live performance of the opening track of the classic and most popular of all jazz albums, Kind of Blue. [Read more…]

Henryk Gorecki: Totus Tuus

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbHfLCprSSg] Composed (1983) for John Paul II’s third visit to his homeland, Totus Tuus is a good example Of Henryk Gorecki’s music, with its unabashed simplicity and undisguised roots in Polish Catholic chant. Totus Tuus sum Maria,/Mater nostri Redemptoris,/Virgo Dei, Virgo pia,/ Mater mundi Salvatoris I dedicate myself to you, O Mary,/Mother of our Redeemer,/Virgin [Read More…]

Jane Kenyon: Notes from the Other Side

I divested myself of despair and fear when I came here. Now there is no more catching one’s own eye in the mirror, there are no bad books, no plastic, no insurance premiums, and of course no illness. Contrition does not exist, nor gnashing of teeth. No one howls as the first clod of earth [Read More…]