|CANTORES' NEW CD RELEASE NOW AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE:
GIOVANNI PIERLUIGI DA PALESTRINA
MISSA BREVIS AND STABAT MATER
JACOBUS DE KERLE
MISSA REGINA CAELI
CANTORES IN ECCLESIA
Cantores in Ecclesia's most recent release (pictured above) brings together settings of the Latin Mass by two Renaissance composers. They were exact contemporaries, and both were famous in their own lifetime, although posterity has treated them quite differently. Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525-94) is still a familiar name to modern singers, while Jacobus de Kerle (1531-91) has been all but forgotten. These two men were both dedicated to composing music for the Catholic Church in an era when its musical foundations (and the foundations of its very existence) were in peril. This was a time of sweeping reforms, debated for twenty arduous years during the Council of Trent. The goal was to strip off the excesses and corruptions of past centuries, returning to an atmosphere of simplicity, austerity, and holiness. Needless to say, this had vast implications for what was sung and played in church. Kerle and Palestrina were two composers who found themselves at the center of the fray. (Except taken from the CD booklet music notes, written by Dr. Kerry McCarthy.)
To listen to a sample, please click HERE.
CDs are now available online at http://cdbaby.com/cd/cantoresinecclesia or call 503-295-2811. Copies can also be purchased at every reception directly following the 7:30 P.M. Saturday Vigil Masses at St. Stephen's throughout Advent.
2013 has been a year of great joy and growth for Cantores in Ecclesia. In July, the adult and children’s choirs joined forces to mark our 30th Anniversary with a Mass celebrated by our new Archbishop, The Most Rev. Alexander Sample. Archbishop Sample spoke eloquently on the spirituality of Gregorian chant and sacred polyphony, firmly endorsing our mission to preserve and promote this great treasury within the context of Catholic liturgy.
This past year, we also released a new CD of Renaissance Masses by Palestrina and Kerle, and have continued to sing each Saturday evening for the 7:30pm Vigil Mass at St. Stephen’s Church. As you may have noticed, the children’s choir has steadily grown; we now have over two dozen boys and girls. It is a great joy to pass on this heritage to a new generation. My early musical training was in the very choir, then under the direction of my father, in which my own son and daughter now sing.
2013 was a year of sadness, as well. Less than two months before the William Byrd Festival we lost our good friend, Richard Marlow. This past weekend, a memorial service for Dr. Marlow was held at Trinity College, Cambridge. Mark Williams gave a moving address, mentioning Richard’s work with Cantores in Ecclesia and the festival. The entire service from Trinity College Chapel can be streamed online at www.trinitycollegechoir.com/webcast/23112013-richard-marlow-memorial- service.
If you value the work of Cantores in Ecclesia and wish to see it prosper in the coming year, please consider adding the choir to your Christmas list. We are grateful to St. Stephen’s parish for allowing us to be in residence, but our share of the offering collected at the Saturday Latin Mass does not cover the expense of that liturgy alone. We depend on your donations and gifts to “keep us in business.” A generous end of the year contribution is your investment in the year-round program of liturgical music you have come to appreciate and expect. On a personal note, it has been encouraging to see so many new faces each week, and hope the congregation continues to grow throughout the coming year.
On behalf of the choir and board members, I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your prayers, your support and your friendship; may you have a blessed Advent, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Blake Applegate, director