The ensemble Aelbgut is singing Palestrina's Mass...

Veni Sponsa Christi at the Augsburger Dom-- the '24 Hours of Palestrina' is nearing its conclusion; Aelbgut is a fairly new ensemble with a first album, their recording of Bach's St John's Passion, issued in March of this year. If I'm reading the notes aright, and if the order of the ensembles' performances hasn't been altered, the final work, the Mass Tu es Petrus, will begin at about 0920 here.

Holy Mass from Saint-Eugène for today's feast of the Presentation of Our Lady in the Temple. Will listen after the conclusion of the 'Palestrina'. 

Because I allowed myself to be distracted last night, ahem, I had to decide whether to say the Night Office earlier this morning, or to follow the Mass as it was livestreamed at 0030 without sleeping beforehand; I slept and then got up to say the Office at 0430, eh. 

The Vokalsolisten Konzerthaus Blaibach, having completed the Litaniae Beatae Virginis Mariae, which is terribly beautiful, are now singing the Mass In te Domine speravi. But I must go fuss in the kitchen; have already pre-heated the oven in order to bake a coffeecake. 

Post Tertiam. The Mass Papae Marcelli sung by the Vokalisten Konzerthaus Blaibach now. This an edited version of the translatio machinae of the BR Klassik's website article here (BR Klassik being the German state broadcaster's classical service.)

Church services are allowed, concerts are not. So why not make music in church? The baritone Thomas E. Bauer is now implementing this idea in the Augsburg Cathedral. On Friday evening, a 24-hour musical prayer starts there and is broadcast online.

[This] will be heard from next Friday, November 20th, 6:00 p.m., in Augsburg Cathedral. Musicians from home and abroad appear in various formations under the title Palestrina-- A Global Prayer for the People

Together they create a devotion in [more or less] one-hour stages, which is streamed online in full.The service will be opened by Bishop Bertram Meier. He made his idea possible, says Thomas E. Bauer in an interview with BR-KLASSIK. The participants include Sigiswald Kuijken, the KlangVerwaltung choir, Singer Pur, the Choralschola St. Ottilien, the soloist ensemble from the Blaibach concert hall and the Augsburger Domsingknaben. 

This is not a marketing gag to circumvent the concert ban. Bauer has chosen the Italian Renaissance composer Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina as the namesake for the project. Behind this is not only the admiration for Palestrina's music, but also its historical significance for church music itself. Because it was put to the test in 1562 at the Council of Trent. At that time, the guardians of the faith debated what role church music should play in church services. It is said that decisive forces at the council wanted to banish polyphonic singing from the churches for good but Palestrina knew how to prevent this-- [although there] is no valid historical evidence for it. He [proved] that polyphony and intelligibility of the text are not mutually exclusive. 

In addition, Bauer refers to a quote from the church Father [Saint] Augustine: 'Who sings, prays twice'. During the 24-hour devotion, Palestrina's sacred works are to be heard that repeat themselves in a mantra-like manner that put the singers into a kind of trance, says Bauer. [Herr Bauer is using the demotic idiom; I'm not going to condemn him to the pyre for that.]

This is also intended as a [chance for] the artists themselves [to look inward]: 'How should it go on, what is my job, singing? A spiritual exercise in which you can come to yourself. Regardless of whether you are religious.' 

According to Bauer, listeners can then 'sing into' this spiritual exercise via the stream-- for as long as they want. [It's an opportunity] for 24 hours and is free [on Idagio].



Ha; the tutti performance of the Mass Tu es Petrus seems to have been abandoned, perhaps for logistical reasons, perhaps because we're in tempore pestilentiae. Now 'to' Mass.

Will take the opportunity of Maestro Bauer's history lesson supra to point out the opera Palestrina by Hans Pfitzner, one of my favorites. The preludes of the three acts are what is more often performed these days, or one or the other of them, but there are a surprising number of complete recordings on YouTube.

This one is excellent, so far as it goes; while it's chiefly of interest to Fritz Wunderlich 'fans' (he died in 1966) I think it gives a very good 'first look' at the opus perfectum. It is from 1964 with scenes from the first and third acts.


A reflection by Guillaume d’Alançon at Le Salon Beige today about the Carthusians and their life of prayer and silence. Nostra Domina a Casalibus, ora pro nobis! 

And there is at least one victory in the administrative courts against the French government (in the prefecture of Puy-de-Dôme) as it continues to suppress the freedom to worship in public. Spes contra spem!

Time for Sext and a pot of tea.

Post Sextam in Dominica. I note Father Hunwicke's post of yesterday in which he wishes that our feast might have its name changed to Our Lady's Entry into the Temple, that being its ancient Byzantine title, "ad perpetuam memoriam of the year when Public Worship was proscribed in this kingdom [of England] for the first time since the eighteenth century".