Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Special Moments from the Palestrina Mass

Dateline: Seattle. Tallis Scholars Summer School
The day that we sang Palestrina's Missa Laudate Dominum was the Feast Day of St. Ignatius Loyola. The Priest declined to give a homily, saying that he would let the music of Palestrina speak instead. He told us briefly that St. Ignatius traveled to Rome shortly after his ordination, and said Mass in the Sistine Chapel. One of the choir boys would have been Palestrina, who was 10 or 12 years old at the time. And in subsequent decades, Loyola certainly would have known and heard the work of the great polyphonic composer, Palestrina.

Knowing this made singing the work, in this beautiful cathedral and on this specific day, even more special.

One of my fellow altos, Joseph Adam, is also the organist at the cathedral. He played a spectacular postlude, Widor's "Allegro maestoso" from his Symphony #6 in G Minor. Dark, rolling fireworks....a fantastic ending to the evening.

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