• G
    Posts: 1,396
    I am surprised, considering how much conversation and, (well-deserved,) thrashing there was of the music at the papal Masses on the Holy Father's US trip, that no one has anything to offer on the WYD Masses here.
    My connection is too slow to watch anything on line, so anything I caught was via EWTN.
    What I saw of the Racetrack Mass seemed better than the Stadium Masses, not so "performance" oriented.
    However my impression was that there was less congregational participation, (that may have just been how things were mic'ed and broadcast.)
    Chanted propers!
    Bad rendition of Taste and See.
    Interesting, but easy though unfamiliar hymn tunes.
    A Gospel procession I'm still digesting...
    Moments of silence! (Basically, a message of "don't applaud the Pope's homily as if it were a campaign speech.")
    A great line from Pell in his opening remarks that i choose to see as on point about liturgy -
    One mission is better than a thousand options
    I was delighted to see that even in highly organized Masses, with world class MCs, and people in constant communication via the latest technology, etc., wires can get crossed -- I'm saying the Kyrie? you're singing it? we're doing which form?

    (Save the Liturgy, Save the World)
  • David AndrewDavid Andrew
    Posts: 1,202
    I was rather hoping that one of the "gee why don't we have more guitars and piano at Mass anymore" types was going to bug me after Mass this morning, so that I could respond by saying, "Did you happen to catch the WYD Mass? Chanted propers, organ, orchestra, men and boy's choir in robes . . . guess those poor kids just forgot what it is they're supposed to like at Mass."

    While there were still some puzzling elements (most notable the use of "Taste and See" and the gospel procession, both of which I fortunately missed), I can't help but think that this was such a vastly different experience from the US Papal Masses and more to the point, previous WYD Masses.

    Brick by brick!
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    I found myself driving all over the U.S. doing tedious life kind of stuff this weekend, so I missed the whole thing. I have to get an iPhone. Anyway I read the reports the morning and I'm just so thrilled to hear all of this. Even Taste and See can be bearable in a setting like this (well, not really). Anyway, really, this is just so splendid. And that's right that Gregorian propers is a big step forward even from the best of the U.S. Masses, which I think used seasonal Communion proper but that's all. I'm glad that EWTN has archived it.

    I really really missed being part of the NLM peanut gallery this time!
  • priorstf
    Posts: 460
    Overall I thought the closing Mass was a beautiful presentation of what a Mass can and should be. The music was, with the exception of a few jarring speedbumps (crash barriers?), well selected and beautifully offered as prayer. I'm not fond of ANY solos in a Mass, but the young man and woman selected for the Mass parts did a fine job of keeping the music the focus. The priest/corresondents after Mass tried to explain the Gospel delivery procession, and I would love to see what words were being sung.

    If I ran the circus I would have included more actual "youth" in the Papal confirmation and communion sacraments; opening the way for vocations is easier with 13-year-olds than with grey-hairs like me. For that matter, with the exception of the director/conductor, same rule for the musisicians. Over 25? We'll see you on the next papal visit. And that opening representative hike up Uluru would leave me winded!

    Technical glitches ran rampant through the television production, thought not the Mass itself. I suspect if that were the quality of some Australian football championship there would be blood in the pubs! The little camera vignettes of the congregation were wholly unnecessary.

    BUT... all that aside, these were small issues. The Mass is The Mass, was celebrated brilliantly, and I believe showered many people with the presence of The Holy Spirit.
  • After Masses today, I surfed over to EWTN and caught 30 seconds of Moore's "Taste and See." Couldn't take in any more than that. Again, lack of humility.
    Here's the gist for me, bullet point style:
    How can they (both Aussies and Americans) get it right with enculturation in one liturgy and so wrong in another? I watched with fascination the Gospel procession by the aboriginal troupe/singers yesterday and how that juxtaposed with the transfer of the Book to the clerics while the indigineous choir sat in the circle and chanted their song and then the "Alleluia" with both apparent authenticity and respect. And then the deacon chanted the Gospel in psalm tone, a tad nervous as his pitch rose while maintaining composure. It was an odd scene, but not incongruous. I think I saw that reaction in the Pope's visage. But today, what is it that compels people to only think inside the box when deciding to program "Taste and See?" James Moore, African-American....hmmm. Original recording, gospel style....hmmm....gotta have an African American mezzo with a huge, unmeasureable vibrato unctiously (sp?) belting the tune with a big back beat, orchestra, kwah and kitchen sink. Face of pope? "Gesu bambino, how long vill zis zong continue?"
    I decided to take a nap.
    I've stated before about these spectacle (and sometimes debacle) fetes that humility is the missing factor in planning and performance. That's the disease. The symptons? Lack of subtlety, delicacy and grace.
    I only have seen glimpses of WYD, so I'm only reflecting on these two snippets. Don't infer from the above a whole critique of the schmeer. Actually, the theme song was better heard than as it appeared on paper.
  • G
    Posts: 1,396
    "Even Taste and See can be bearable in a setting like this (well, not really). "

    Actually, I think you were right, never the best choice but potentially suitable, if well performed -- but this wasn't it.
    This was a performance that... well no need to criticize anyone, but I have never heard anything quite like it.
    Let's just say that there are some things from which the Liturgy needs saving...

    (Save the Liturgy, Save the World)
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    Does anyone have a link to a rebroadcast of this Mass? I'm not sure why I have such trouble finding things on the EWTN site.
  • Maybe I'm the odd person out here, but I just don't even bother watching these giant events. I'm with several others who wish that these things were not Masses, but go ahead and let them be what they want to be, "events". Let the pope speak and let the Christian entertainment happen. That way, everyone is happy. They can all go to Mass in a church for goodness sake.
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    Oh, a main reason to watch them is to track liturgical trends. So here we had the Gregorian introit and Communion, a Benedictine altar arrangement, and some other very praiseworthy things -- a huge step forward over past WYD events. There were some regrettable aspects--the Gospel procession was painful in the context of liturgy--but these are fading ever more.

    On the Introit, it was not Solesmes--it seem to exalt diction and volume over musicality--but it was still very compelling, and I have no idea how the acoustics of such a vast space would affect the way this music should be rendered. Also, there is no way to know how it sound live as versus on web video. I look forward to having our WYD people return from all the activities and give a fuller report.
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    I wasn't terribly interested to watch. My girlfriend and I watched bits and pieces so that I could hear some of the music. The "official" WYD Mass Ordinary wavered between superb and overly broadway. It was interesting to compare the comportment of the two cantors; to me the tenor looked like he was singing at church, the soprano looked like she was singing for a musical. The Kyrie mishap was amusing at first, but that piece just went on and on and on and on... I don't mind long Kyries at all, but if you want to do one, there's plenty of fine ones by Mozart and Haydn and Bruckner and I could go on... The Gospel procession was truly bizarre, but nothing beat the bewilderment on the pope's face during it!

    On the other hand, the cathedral liturgy was all-around incredible. Anyone else catch that wonderful Gospel Acclamation? THAT is exactly what I want in a non-chant Alleluia: simple without being dumb, majestic without drawing attention to itself, and dignified without ruling out frequent usage.

    There's still silliness, and LOTS of it, but only a true pessimist could miss the MASSIVE improvements being made in large-scale liturgies, even between the USA Masses in April and WYD today! Were I still in parish ministry, I would respond to ANY objections with "turn on your TV to EWTN and tell me what the modern trends are." (as usual a disclaimer: I am not saying that we must do what the trend is, but rather pointing out that those who view this as a goal of liturgy are thus bounden to do chant and latin since that is the obvious trend today)
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 1,432
    Does anyone know what the organ and orchestra music was that was performed during the stations - between the III and IV stations? It was quite beautiful.
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 1,432
    it was during the dance thing called "Judas Kiss".
  • Does anyone know where a complete list of the music for the WYD Mass in Sydney Cathedral may be found? In fact, we should have lists of the music from all the WYD Masses!
  • incantuincantu
    Posts: 989
    After listening to the WYD Mass, one thing is obvious: the salicus, with its moldy "old church" sound, just doesn't "speak" to today's young people. But when they got to a horizontal episema, the singers really participated actively. If you want to know why people aren't coming to Mass, it's because of that awful salicus we keep hearing week after week. Maybe if we heard some more uplifting episemata (like we used to have all the time before our "new" music director came and changed everything) then people would sing more.
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    Thank you for this insight. The same could be said for repercussions, the lack of which alienated an entire generation. In parishes where compound neumes are currently being repercussed, you can easily feel a new sense of community purpose taking shape.
  • The WYD website has video 'installments' from the masses and much else.
    As SBS (Australia) was the official TV channel, it too has bits, albeit trashy:
    The SBS coverage was annoying as there were voice-overs when I was hanging out to hear the music.
    Watching the proceedings from the other side of Australia*, my feeling was that there wasn't much participation. I'm pretty sure that the contingent from our diocese wouldn't have heard the Our Father in Latin before - most of our priests would probably ban a Pater Noster in Latin. Hopefully they were listening...
    * The other side of Australia ... If you are interested in Western Australian flora:
  • Heath
    Posts: 928
    They did an alternatim setting of "Veni, Sancte Spiritus" in English yesterday at the closing Mass . . . any idea who the composer was?
  • incantuincantu
    Posts: 989
    OK, I think I've watched most of it now (only crashed windows 6 times). I've got to say that at least the level of taste was pretty much the same across the board, whether contemporary or classical. It just shows how much that old argument is really moot. It was the liturgical music that was included, not the extra-liturgical music, that was a step forward. Now if only for the next one they don't feel the need to compose a bombastic orchestral Mass that most of the attendees will never sing again. I'm not saying the music was especially bad, just that it didn't seems to be pointing at the ideal. Maybe the next step will be to commission a chant Mass in the vernacular, or -- better -- a newly composed harmonization or alternatim setting using authentic chants from the repertoire.
  • You know, I don't mind the extroverted papal Masses. I know that Prof Mahrt has called for more chant at these papal events, but tradition holds that when an important dignitary of the Church comes to your town, you put on a very elaborate Mass that is atypical, and hence fitting for the special event. I understand that the world watches these events and that we hope that the pope will show us his ideal, but with EWTN we can see his program broadcast from Rome. So, if no one ever sings the Ordinary of this Mass again, I don't see that as a real problem. History is full of works written for special occasions and essentially heard once. I offer as exhibit A, the Missa Salisburgensis a 53, which for years was attributed to Benevoli, but has recently been reattributed to Heinrich Biber, who at the time was a virtual no-name in sacred music. This is a huge work with multiple organs, brass, strings, winds, and several choirs. It has only been in recent years that early music groups have tried to recreate this, and that's mostly for the novelty. It's sheer size distorts any sense of high baroque style elements. A joyous noise to be sure.
  • incantuincantu
    Posts: 989
    I don't see any problem with having a choral Ordinary. But that's not what we had here. It was basically a choral arrangement of a congregational Ordinary (although I believe the composer and arranger are the same person). This hybrid model seems to me to be a missed opportunity. It was neither a great piece of purely choral music nor anything particularly useful for a congregation to learn. Again, this is not comment on the quality of the music, just the model that it seemed to follow (no doubt stipulated in the commission). But I hear your point: "it is what it is."
  • Noted. Now I understand what you meant. I agree.
  • @Heath:

    According to the WYD liturgy guide, the Veni Sancte Spiritus alternatim setting was penned by Palestrina. Doesn't seem to be on CPDL at the moment.

    Now some comments:

    I was on the field for the vigil, and woke up to the strains of Tone 8G - men, presumably seminarians, were singing Lauds (included in the liturgy guide without notation). Wonderful way to wake up.

    That was followed by various selections of pop-inspired music, interspersed with earnest efforts at animating the crowd from the designated host and hostess, and culminating in the WYD 2008 theme song "Receive the Power" sung in English by the songwriter and a female singer. A bit of incidental music, some of which which sounded similar to Enya's "Orinoco Flow", accompanied the papal arrival; I was told afterwards that it was culled from a film about vocations.

    Then, the schola sang the introit Spiritus Domini and I thought about Dr. Mahrt's remarks at Colloquium 2008 about the lack of a Gregorian introit for the Stadium Masses in the USA. For me, that trumped all of the preceding activity.

    The Mass setting has been discussed here before, so I feel no need to comment on it. The cross-up on the Kyrie Form C was a bit jarring to me, but only because of my familiarity with the liturgy.

    The response to the General Intercessions/Prayers of the Faithful was noteworthy in that it was a threefold Latin "Deus, exaudi nos". (I should mention at this time that from my vantage point in the back, to the right of the racetrack grandstand, the cantors didn't seem to be paying any attention to or egging on the crowd, which was a big plus in my book.)

    The Palestrina alternatim setting of the Veni Sancte Spiritus (sung in English) was welcome. The liturgy guide provided the chanted verses with square notation.

    The Pope committed a number of melodic lapses with the Preface and other parts, but I think that such mistakes can be encouraging for clergy without a great deal of confidence in their singing voices.

    Let's hope that the Catholic youth of the world will have the Pater Noster down pat for Spain. It would be an excellent idea for the organizers of WYD (or the CMAA delegation to Madrid!?) to encourage pilgrims and volunteers to learn this and the Jubilate Deo composite Mass for 2011.

    The Communion chant was quite welcome; the singing of the Moore "Taste and See" brought back memories.

    The organ postlude - a very welcome surprise especially as it was not noted in the program - was followed by the multilingual version of the WYD '08 theme song.