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Wednesday, 25 March 2015

"Forget the 1960s – it is time the Church once again embraced new music in the liturgy"

When did She ever stop?
 From Matthew Schellhorn in the British "Catholic Herald":
To think of “contemporary music” in Catholic worship brings to mind the clearly hastily written and often very poor quality contributions of the 60s and 70s still in use in some places as a meagre alternative to anything of real artistic value. The waters are muddied here by an agenda that extols a particular kind of congregational “active participation”, meaning that in general musical offerings by modern composers – mostly written for the laity to have some part in – have to be supplied at the level of the lowest common denominator.
......As a means of breaking the deadlock I would say that the place of contemporary music in the Sacred Liturgy must be re-evaluated. New and imaginative music should certainly not be cast aside simply owing to bad experience....
This week, the winner of a new prize for sacred music composition I founded was announced. The brief was to write a Eucharistic motet for four parts, thereby precluding monophonic or simplistic entries rivalling Gregorian chant and furthermore requiring the use of capable musicians for performance. I was pleased to receive interest from composers all over the world, hungry to write for the Church and seeking opportunities for their God-given skills to be recognised and valued. I and the panel of judges can testify that the quality of entries was consistently high. The winner is a young composer from the Wirral, Marco Galvani, who has a bright future ahead of him; his piece, Ecce Quam Bonum, will be premiered at St Mary Moorfields in the City of London on Holy Saturday.
Looking forward to hearing it.
Meanwhile, I have what I have as I live where I live.

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