PrayTell does it again - fascinating post on liturgy 1965-1969.
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,517
    A few years ago PrayTell posted minutes from liturgy committee meetings in the years following Vatican II and I was entirely captivated.. it was an amazing read. They've done it again with this:

    http://www.praytellblog.com/index.php/2018/06/12/liturgy-in-southbridge-ma-an-audio-time-capsule-of-post-conciliar-transition/

    An audio comparison of a parish's Masses from 1965-1969.

    Hopefully this post will lead to other recordings being found and this time period being more closely examined.
  • Ted
    Posts: 139
    That this once vibrant church finally closed in 2011 says a lot....
    Thanked by 1StimsonInRehab
  • stulte
    Posts: 188
    Peter Kwasniewski says:
    June 12, 2018 at 8:55 pm
    It’s like watching the decomposition of a corpse.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,277
    Peter can be SO funny. I think it's called "a trenchant wit" when one refers to rotting corpses.
  • Joseph Michael
    Posts: 142
    Interesting!
    I was in 10th grade when the English mass was first celebrated in the Archdiocese of Detroit.

    Not all parishes used a "commentator" as is heard on the recordings.

    I recall, circa 1962, a seminarian coming to our parish to do a commentary during the (Latin) mass. It was called a "mass in slow motion"--explaining what each of the steps of the mass was and what they mean.

    Some dioceses were very strict as to what music could or could not be sung during the new English Mass. In the Archdiocese of Detroit, only two masses were approved: An English People's Mass by Dom Alexander Murray and the Mass in Honor of Saint Paul by Noel Goemanne.

    I distinctly remember how odd it seemed to have the mass in English until it switched to Latin in the middle (for the consecration).

    Prior to the 2nd Vatican Council, the Archdiocese of Detroit had an approved list of music. The "White" List. Schubert's "Ave Maria" was forbidden. As was the "Black" Saint Basil's Hymnal.

    Thanked by 1Jeffrey Quick
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 7,778
    Schubert's "Ave Maria" was forbidden.
    Should have never been allowed
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • Carol
    Posts: 229
    I am interested in why Shubert's "Ave Maria" is on your list, Francis. Too shmaltzy?
  • Carol
    Posts: 229
    What about the Bach-Gounoud (sp?)?
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,086
    Francis only likes Bach.
    Thanked by 1Carol
  • Carol,

    I think the Bach-Gounod is also outside the lines, but I'm not positive.

    Bach is a good composer (but not Catholic).
    Gounod is a good composer, but this piece has soaring soloist lines, almost as if it were designed for the stage, rather than the Mass.
    Thanked by 1Carol
  • Settefrati93
    Posts: 147
    So then what about things like Mozart's Et Incarnatus Est or most of the 'classical' mass settings with long soprano solo's at the benedictus and even other parts of the mass (gloria, creed). No good?
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,086
    Although I agree they can be overdone, soaring solo lines are typical and characteristic of certain periods of music. It is also true that interminable, and sometimes insufferable, melismas are characteristic of another period. Polyphony can get tedious when the same phrases or words are repeated incessantly like the "Song That Does Not End," leading one to conclude that piece should have ended some minutes ago.

    Music is not perfect. Like any other medium, you often get the bad along with the good.

  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,145
    The issue is that the implementation of Pius X's motu proprio led to a series of bizarre regulations, wherein anything that was seen as "operatic" was to be purged, as well as anything not by a Catholic. While I'll agree that some things should be banned (the notorious and now-over-done Wedding Marches, for example), some things seem arbitrary and best, self-serving by the "experts" at worst.

    Gregorian Chant and "Palestrina" Polyphony held up as ideals, with music modeled on it as good choices, too. Fine. In theory, at least. But what it led to in practice was some of the worst and most banal liturgical music ever composed, which has, thankfully, ceased to be heard. So, instead of Mozart, Schubert, and Haydn Masses with choir, orchestra, and soloists, we have Perosi, Yon, and Rossini (of "Propers" fame) for choir (of 1, 2, or 4 voices--and all from the same score!) and harmonium. And, if the steady diet was Perosi before the Council, is it any wonder that that banality was overtaken by the vernacular banality of the Folk Mass, and later the Haagendasz music?

    And so-and-so was not a Catholic. Well then, there goes most organ repertoire: Sweelinck, Buxtehude, Pachelbel, Bach, ... Vaughan Williams, Herbert Howells, ...

    This era was the reign of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions, ruled by Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago, and their "approved" publishers (McLaughlin-Riley, GIA, etc.) and their Cathedral Musicians: As interesting as the "Black List" is, take a look at some "White Lists": One gets the impression that the only approved music was by Palestrina, Victoria, Yon, Perosi, Rossini, and a couple others--and "approved editions", by (who else) Perosi, Yon, or Rossini, had to be used for Pal. and Vic.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,086
    It was a racket to be sure. However, another racket has taken its place with the big 3 or so publishers being the villains.
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,145
    Nichil novus sub sole.
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • [self edited]

  • Jeffrey Quick
    Posts: 1,349
    Joseph Michael, could you share that Detroit white list, if you have it?
  • Joseph Michael
    Posts: 142
    The book, CATHOLIC CHURCH MUSIC by Paul Hume (1956), is a must read to get a sense of the state of music at mass in America before Vat II. In it, I am fairly certain, Hume mentions the many "approved" lists at the time. Mediocrity, poor taste, and poor practice were rampant in the pre Vat II church as it is now. Even though there were "white" lists, they were often ignored. As for the Schubert Ave Maria, I think the main objection was that Schubert's text was not the actual "Hail Mary". Paul Hume, by the way, was the famous music critic of the Washington Post who wrote a scathing review of Margaret Truman's singing at a broadcast concert from Detroit. Her father, President Harry Truman, was outraged at Paul's review. The President wrote an angry letter to Paul with a veiled threat of a physical violence if they ever met. He not only wrote the letter, he found a stamp on his desk and mailed it personally. When the letter was published, it made national headlines. Jeffrey Quick, I do not have a copy of the Detroit "white" list, but I remember seeing it.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 7,778
    Shubert... another on the list that isn't appropriate for liturgy. Yes, Mozart is on the same list along with Beethoven. Is there any composer from that era that belongs? And yes, Charles 'splains it perfectly... (soaring)... my term if you remember, is musical acrobatics.