International composition competition in sacred music
  • June Ely
    Posts: 46
    From the Foundation for Sacred Arts:

    The Foundation for Sacred Arts is pleased to announce our first international composition competition in sacred music. There are two categories: Category I: Non-Liturgical Sacred Choral Works and Category II Mass Settings for the New English Translation. Three cash prizes for each category totaling $14,000 will be awarded.
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    We all have reason to hope for more liberality in the regulations here to include choral Mass settings. I'm hoping for some conversations in the coming days that will assist in clarifying the needs. After all, Mass settings that are Gregorian-based are already complete, distributed for free, and metric settings for the people based on the new texts would not only be a reinvention of the wheel (see the 1982 Episcopal hymnal) but doesn't call on the higher talents of today's Catholic composers.
  • Donnaswan
    Posts: 585
    I'm afraid the hope is very slim, Jeffrey.

  • Pes
    Posts: 623
    In general, there is much to praise about their competition. How did they choose the texts, I wonder? It's a pity some of the texts are so wooden. For example:

    we bless you,
    until you come again.

    What incredibly ugly lines. And then there's this, which starts well enough:

    Eternal Trinity,
    mystery deep as the sea

    Very good vowels to sing. Then it starts to go off the rails:

    you could give me no greater gift

    That's a bit complicated-sounding, and then we arrive, anticlimactically, at this reductive wreck:

    than the gift of


    Where is the *music* in that?
  • Maureen
    Posts: 655
    Ack. What the heck are they thinking, punctuating a defenceless excerpt from St. Catherine like that?? Oh, man, does that deserve a poetic revenge or what?

    However, the rule about repetition et al doesn't seem to rule out totally reorganizing the St. Catherine text to your own liking.

    For example:

    Deep as the sea
    Eternal Trinity,
    No greater gift
    you could give me
    Deep as the sea,
    Eternal Trinity

    See how easy!

    You, Fire ever
    burning, never
    consumed, You ---
    which consumes
    all the selfish love
    that fills me
    in the fire of
    your love

    Or how about this?

    The gift of yourself
    The food of angels
    You are beauty itself
    In the fire of
    your love
    You are wisdom itself
    The food of angels
    You gave yourself
    In the fire of
    your love

    No text has been changed in the making of these stanzas. Rearranged, shuffled, and repeated, yes. Though I'm pretty sure you can get arrested for singing "fire" in a crowded church. :)

    But anyway, the problem is that it's just not all that great a text in this particular English translation. In Italian, sure; it's all vowels. In a better English translation, fine. But this translation was clearly meant for reading as prose, not singing, and it was taken from a work of prose. Why? Who knows? But it pretty much forces you to either tear the translation into little shreds, as I've done, and lose the meaning; or make a composition where the choir just sings incomprehensibly high or low words (at random intervals) that nobody can make out, and which might as well be Sanskrit as English -- and lose the meaning. Sigh.
  • Am I the only one who is surprised that Kyrie eleison is translated Lord have MARCY on this website!

    Can someone please correct this before it gets set to music?
  • G
    Posts: 1,389
    Do you have something against Marcy?
    I understand she's a very nice woman...

    (Save the Liturgy, Save the World)
  • ChrisPT
    Posts: 9
    How about Lord have Macys? Sorry ...
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,518
    Lord have mersey. Oh, wait. I think the Beatles already did that. Or was it, the quality of mersey is not strained. ;-)