Cardinal Bartolucci, RIP
  • Cardinal Domenico Bartolucci, former longtime director of the Sistine Chapel choir, died recently at age 96. May he rest in peace. Here's an item from the Catholic Register:
    Thanked by 1R J Stove
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,501
    Thank you for this tribute, David.

    At moments like this I always think of Thomas Hardy's The Choirmaster's Burial.

    He often would ask us
    That, when he died,
    After playing so many
    To their last rest,
    If out of us any
    Should here abide,
    And it would not task us,
    We would with our lutes
    Play over him
    By his grave-brim
    The psalm he liked best—
    The one whose sense suits
    “Mount Ephraim”—
    And perhaps we should seem
    To him, in Death’s dream,
    Like the seraphim1.

    As soon as I knew
    That his spirit was gone
    I thought this his due,
    And spoke, thereupon.
    “I think,” said the vicar,
    “A read service quicker
    Than viols out-of-doors
    In these frosts and hoars.
    That old-fashioned way
    Requires a fine day,
    And it seems to me
    It had better not be.”

    Hence, that afternoon,
    Though never knew he
    That his wish could not be,
    To get through it faster
    They buried the master
    Without any tune.

    But ’twas said that, when
    At the dead of next night
    The vicar looked out,
    There struck on his ken
    Thronged roundabout,
    Where the frost was graying
    The headstoned grass,
    A band all in white
    Like the saints in church-glass,
    Singing and playing
    The ancient stave
    By the choirmaster’s grave.

    Such the tenor man told
    When he had grown old.
    Thanked by 2gregp expeditus1
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,501
    Link to his funeral, 6.5 hours from now
  • All I know of his music is a very nice setting of Crux Fidelis. I'd like to know more, but most of his work was published in volumes in Italy, and nobody much has it in the States.
  • Thanks for the link, Kathy, I was able to see snippets of the funeral at my desk this morning.
    The music was a mix of chant and polyphony. Just saw the end of Mass--Pope Francis was there for the final commendation--but I didn't see him earlier in the Mass. The simple chants In Paradisum and Sub tuum praesidium were sung at the end, along with a polyphonic piece (sounded like "Libera nos").

    Very striking how the wooden casket is laid on the floor in front of the altar with the book of Gospels (I think) laid on it. I remember this from John Paul II's funeral too.
  • Very many moving moments, solemn and dignified.

    The organist played the tiniest hat tip to the Dies irae. I sincerely pray that can be restored to the requiem.

    I have not listened enough to Pope Francis, so I'm wondering: does he always struggle to breath a bit, like he was at the commendation? As a lifelong asthma struggler, it was very noticeable to me. I'm not saying he has asthma, but I certainly heard shallow breathing, incl some sounds of struggle. Perhaps he's been ill, but it sounded chronic and made me want to pray more for our dear pope.
    Thanked by 1gregp
  • MACW, some disease early in his life has left him with only one lung; thus, the difficulties you noticed. I am wondering if the onset of the Roman winter is also playing a part.
  • Jeffrey, last year I was searching for one of Cardinal Bartolucci's compositions, and one of the forum users (The Catholic Choirbook) had posted the link to the Bartolucci Foundation. I contacted them, and the music was immediately sent to me online, at no charge. Unfortunately, it appears that that particular link is no longer operating.

    I did see a setting of his "O Sacrum Convivium" online:
    Thanked by 1Jeffrey Quick
  • Thanks- I got quite a bit of his stuff there (some alas with sample copy stencils).
  • We have at least 25 volumes of Cardinal Bartolucci's oevre in our choral library. Mostly Masses and motets though there are some organ works and large choir/orchestra oratorios.

    May he rest in peace.
    Thanked by 1BruceL
  • jpal
    Posts: 365
    Quemadmodum desiderat
    O Sacrum Convivium
    Ave Maria

    (Disclaimer: I do not have any information on these regarding copyright. You are on your own for looking it up if you plan on using these.)
    Thanked by 1expeditus1
  • Does anyone here know why red vestments were used? Traditionally the pope mourns in red, but I thought that under the last pontificate, when Benedict XVI restored the former practice of having the Roman cardinals' funerals celebrated by the Cardinal Dean and reserving the commendatio et valedictio to himself, violet was used by the cardinal celebrant and concelebrants and only the pope wore the red mantum.
  • CGM
    Posts: 690
    A recent interview with the Cardinal here. He speaks, ahem, very directly.