Survey #4: Because of What Music?

Posted by Webster 
Recently, I wrote a piece on Pandora Radio, a Web service that allows you to create your own personal “radio stations” tailored to your musical taste. I posted a link to “Bingen Radio” on our FaceBook Fan Page, and I invite you to check that out. Now let me pose a question: What music, liturgical or non-liturgical, inspires you as a Catholic or non-Catholic?

I’m prompted to post this question thanks to a couple of reader comments. In particular:

“James” offered some personal favorites: Nearly all Gregorian chant (“having sung in a Cathedral choir as a boy”), Henryk Gorecki’s “Misere” and his Third Symphony (“a musical response to the Holocaust”), and also the soundtrack to “Into Great Silence.” (The picture is Gorecki, not James.)

“S.” began by recommending Libera’s version of the ”Gloria,” which you can hear by clicking here. When I responded by saying that I found this Gloria especially beautiful (I’m also partial to the “Heritage” Gloria, which we sing in our choir), S. replied with a longer list—

  • Vesperae Solennes de Confessore (Coventus Choir, Hayley Westenra)
  • Rachmaninov, Vespers, op 37:1 (Choir of King’s College)
  • Corpus Christi Carol (Hayley Westenra)
  • Brahms, Symphony No. 3 in F Major, op 90, 3rd movement 
  • “Let me Lie” — “May it Be” — “River of Dreams” (Hayley Westenra)
  • “Dark Waltz,” from “Phantom of the Opera,” on YouTube with Hayley Westenra
  • “And lastly (for now!) in a different vein,” Steven Curtis Chapman’s “‘Cinderella’—written before the death of his daughter, but performed more poignantly afterwards (many YouTube versions)”

What music do you turn to for inspiration, dear reader? It’s a cold, snowy weekend in New England and I could use some inspiration. . . .

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • John Michael Talbot is first! I would follow that up with Connie Salazar ( beautiful music about Our Blessed Mother, and for Christian Music, I have to say Third Day is always a good one.

  • James

    Almost anything by Ralph Vaughn Williams but especially his "Serenade to Music". Also Elgar's " Wand of Youth Suite #1". I've got way too much time on my hands!

  • Warren Jewell

    I enjoy twisting pop ballads into devotional verses. Often, but a clause here and a few words there, and what was some romantic lamer becomes something our Lord would find prayerful. DON'T ask me to sing one – I say them like prayers, even if the original melody may be putting a few bars in my head.Of true liturgical music – something I have either known as a fine piece for rites; or something for which I can read the music, appreciate the words and think it worthy of 'the worship that prays twice'. Anthem hymns like 'God of Our Fathers' where my head and heart play the herald trumpets unheard in the actual music as played are most likely my favorites. Beethoven's Ode to Joy and the great choral pieces of Handel's Messiah also please me.With various non-liturgical orchestrations, I know what I like when I hear it, but needn't know title or composer to just let it lift me heavenward. Frankly, I like the surprise of just coming across such works again.

  • I love Gorecki's Symphony of Sorrowful Songs. But my favorite these days is: Arvo Part's Te Deum. The Berliner Messe is also very beautiful.;=1262503501&sr;=8-1