The SSPX's use of the classical Solesmes method and an observation
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,932
    The SSPX's seminary in Virginia is another excellent example of the classical Solesmes method in practice, one which gets less attention perhaps out of prejudice or political reasons, but they deserve credit. Link.

    Mgr Fellay sang Mass yesterday for Our Lady of Compassion, during which he conferred minor orders.

    They're up there with the ICRSP, dare I say…

    The observation in particular is this: the proliferation of CDs and especially digital music (streaming, downloads, Youtube…) is keeping this style alive in Anglophone countries just as much or more among young (male) Catholics as the same makes possible the spread semiological interpretations, proportionalism, singing according to the Vaticana, and so on (I wish that we had a pithy name for what Pérès does…). And then you get young Americans and so on joining French or Francophone communities (contrary to popular belief, I hesitate to call either the SSPX or the ICRSP "French", but the latter especially is Francophone). Giovanni Vianini did it almost single-handedly, and then you have things like the Fontgombault Assumption album still making the rounds decades later, on top of the New Age craze in the 1990s for Santo Domingo de Silos.

    Meanwhile, in France, this is something of a default, so it's a bit rebellious to sing something else on a regular basis, particularly the farther away that you get from Solesmes-style singing (I include using the Triplex for a more Cardinian interpretation here), but I would argue that there is still plenty of momentum for following the classical method — after all, I don't believe that the Schola Saint-Grégoire is officially trad! I know that academics are not-Solesmes, but there's something to be said for "what people actually do", and in France, it's sort of everything but what more traditional researchers and professors would want (and that includes classical Solesmes and Pérès-style singing or even the use of something approaching the Vaticana by Saint-Eugène-Sainte-Cécile — Henri Adam de Villiers often omits the rhythmic signs!)

    I suppose that this is my contribution to the "Semaine de la Francophonie"…

    the tl;dr is that you can say as much as you like that "Solesmes doesn't use the signs" but they still share essential commitments with this style, and while I believe that digital media is responsible for the spread of semiological and other interpretations among young people, the same is true for Fontgombault and the classical method…


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  • Nisi
    Posts: 146
    At the risk normalizing the actions of Lefebvre or benefitting that society, I would not mention the SSPX at all. Cardinal George, Cardinal Burke and Pope Benedict XVI have all spoken clearly about this.
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  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,932
    I just fundamentally disagree that they spoke “clearly” on this. Certainly, the only one of the three who could have done so in a universal, binding way never did any thing to stop people from going to SSPX Masses, and I don’t think that he wants us to never talk about the SSPX. I say that with a deep respect particularly for Cardinal Burke. But he isn’t and probably never will be pope.

    And remember that Rome approved Mgr Huonder’s retirement to the SSPX house in Switzerland. He blessed their chrism last year! He’s now consecrating churches!

    But this is sort of my point: is it truly impossible to set aside the polemic and to simply acknowledge that there are difficulties but to not bring it front and center?

    Or you know, to read through to the end — because my main point wasn’t about the SSPX.
  • dad29
    Posts: 2,217
    The Church's position on SSPX is clear as mud. SSPX's use of Solesmes method is not.
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,701
    @Nisi, I believe that Pope Francis gave the SSPX priests open ended faculties a few years ago. Did he not have the power to do this, or do you think it was a mistake?
  • FSSPmusic
    Posts: 206
    I wish that we had a pithy name for what Pérès does
    Göschl has referred to "arabesque" interpretations of chant, and I suspect the Pérès style is what he had in mind, although it could also refer to Vellard's, or maybe both.
  • dad29
    Posts: 2,217
    SSPX priests open ended faculties

    I might be wrong here, but I thought that was for Confessions and marriages (given the usual conditions.) SSPX does not have an open 'license' to say Mass--but no Pope has attempted to stop them.

    The marriage thing was at least partially driven by the need for Canonical regularity w/r/t paperwork and Diocesan records for marriages.
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  • Jeffrey Quick
    Posts: 2,044
    The subject recently came up in a similar Facebook group I moderate, and my decision was that our position was not to have a position on the SSPX. If somebody wants to post something on "music in the historic Catholic tradition", I'm fine with that, regardless of the source. What I didn't want to see there was endless arguments on who is in and out of the Church. There are plenty of other places for that kind of discussion. Everyone here is either in full possession of the data on the SSPX (or CMRI or SSPV or the late Pope Michael's church or or or...), or can easily get such information. And they will make their own decisions on whether participation is advisable. None of that has any bearing on whether the SSPX' attitude toward Solesmes is of interest in the larger picture, or can be learned from.

    Obviously, Chonak will run things here as he sees fit. But it's a position that IMO has much to recommend it.
  • francis
    Posts: 10,667
    Jeffrey

    Well said. People here sometimes ignore the message being delivered by attempting to shoot the messenger just because of the logo on the carry bag. Adults can agree to disagree, but children pick sides and throw dirt.
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  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,932
    Well, and I didn’t want to get into the weeds. The sede teaching sisters in Florida are also marvelous chanters. But obfuscating that one is a sede (and what exactly one believes) and making clips that are so well-executed that they regularly go viral with this obfuscation present is too far for me. It’s particularly noxious because non-English speakers aren’t going to be up to speed with these details in a way that isn’t the case for the SSPX.

    But those clips from those communities of men and women are out there, if one looks.
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  • Bombarde16
    Posts: 111
    (not looking to turn this into a topic of conversation....)

    Matthew, I had no idea that the Sisters of Aquinas were sede until your comment... Then I went and searched and lo and behold...

    Beautiful music and understanding of the Sacred Dignity of the Liturgy... Just wish there was more unity than their voices in chant...

    But alas, we are this side of heaven... Lord Jesus, quickly come.
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