Music Review: Songs for the Eucharist Ancient and New
When I heard the beautiful voices on Songs for the Eucharist Ancient and New for the first time, I immediately fell in love with them. Their music is so refined that I thought that I must be listening to the chanting of cloistered nuns who have sung together daily for years, rather than a choir of young Catholic lay women who had been singing together for less than one year. The Schola Cantorum of Holy Family is just that impressive.
In December of 2012, Bishop Lawrence E. Brandt of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Greensburg, Pennsylvania, announced that there would be a weekly celebration of the Eucharist in the Extraordinary Form at Holy Family Parish in the city of Latrobe, with Father Daniel C. Mahoney, V.F., Pastor of Holy Family Church as his representative, and Father Ronald L. Cyktor, Jr. his assistant. Under their leadership, the Schola Cantorum of Holy Family was formed and began singing at the weekly Solemn High Mass on the First Sunday of Lent in February of 2013.
The repertoire of Songs for the Eucharist, Ancient and New consists entirely of pieces sung at the Eucharistic liturgy when it is celebrated in the traditional Latin. The album consists of eighteen separate melodies, which include: two Gregorian Introits from Lent, four Gregorian Office antiphons, three Renaissance duets, four motets with organ, each composed in the 20th century, and four additional Latin hymns.
My favorites on this album are: Felix Mendelssohn’s Hear Ye Israel from Elijah Op. 70, Georges – Emile Tanguay’s Tantum Ergo, and Jehan Alain’s Ave Maria. Mendelssohn’s Hear Ye, Israel, was not composed for a liturgical setting, but rather for his Oratorio ‘Elijah’. However, its Biblical text, and its clearly religious sentiment make it appropriate as a prelude.
Below is a listing of all the music on the album:
1. Invocabit me, Gregorian Introit, Mode VIII (GN)
2. Oculi mei, Gregorian Introit, Mode VII (GN)
3. Pater manifestavi, Gregorian Office Antiphon, Mode VI (AM)
4. Laudabo, Gregorian Office Antiphon, Mode IV* (PsM)
5. Cum venerit, Gregorian Office Antiphon Mode, VIII (AM)
6. Cantate Domino, Gregorian Office Antiphon, Mode II (GS)
7. Per illud Ave, Josquin des Prez
8. Ego, ego ipse consolabor vos, Ludwig Senfl
9. Benedictus, Orlando di Lasso
10. Hear Ye, Israel, from Elijah, Op. 70 – Felix Mendelssohn
11. Kyrie – Messe Basse, Gabriel Fauré
12. Sanctus – Messe Basse, Gabriel Fauré
13. Benedictus – Messe Basse, Gabriel Fauré
14. Agnus Dei – Messe Basse, Gabriel Fauré
15. Eucaristica, Pablo Casals
16. Tantum ergo, Georges-Émile Tanguay
17. Ave Maria, Jehan Alain
18. Ego sum panis vivus, Valentino Miserachs Grau