The music for the video “Metamorphosis of an altar”

You all know and love the video (La métamorphose d’un autel) embedded in my entry Talk about an ALTARation! in which we see a rather banal modern altar being dressed for an ad orientem Mass. 

Some of you have asked about the music. 

The music for this video is the Lagrasee Te Deum (this is St. Mary’s Abbey, Lagrasse in the Diocese of Carcassonne, the Canons Regular of the Mother of God).  

The Abbot of this monastery was recently a guest in the house I live in here in Rome. I had supper with him one evening.   Let me tell you, these guys’ve got game!  I was impressed.

I suspect the Te Deum is a composition of a fairly young composer, perhaps one of the canons?  It may not go down in history as a great piece, but it is decent.  The performance is by an amateur or student group, I guess, which reinforces the possibility that it is the composition of a young composer.

In any event, I extracted the audio, and you can listen here.

UPDATE: I tip my biretta to Abbé F.H.    o{]:¬)   who tells us that the Te Deum is a composition of Jeanne Barbey, you can learn more about her here (in French).


UPDATE to the update: I got a note from Abbé F.H. that you can purchase Jeanne Bareby’s music here and hear and interview with her in French here.  He said that when he listens to her talk about her illness, cystic fibrosis, he feels very small. 

This story keeps growing.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Theodoricus says:

    Thank you Father, it’s wonderful!

  2. Abbé F.H. says:


    The Te Deum is a composition of Jeanne Barbey, you can learn more about her in a chat on the “Forum Catholique”

    From France, where there are still some good things, even now!


  3. Jordan Potter says:

    Thanks for finding that out for us. I thought the music was quite good, and hope to hear more music from Ms. Barbey.

  4. Abbé F.H. says:

    Ms. Barbey is very sick, mucoviscidose in french, I don’t know the word in english.
    The Te Deum was his first “music”, there is a website of the association created for support her but all is in french you can order the Te Deum, but as it’s only possible to pay by “chèque”, I’m not sure it’s possible from ther countries.

    Thanks to Father Z’ for his biretta’s Tip from an ex alumno of the Gregoriana and the PIL at Sant’Anselmo. And sorry for my bad english!

  5. John Polhamus says:

    I was at the Chartres Pilgrimage a few years ago and the Abbot of the CRMG was the celebrant. Holy Augustinians (i.e. “with game”) are indeed an excellent thing!!

    Got Tradition?

  6. Patrick Kinsale says:

    Thank you for this mp3. I am collecting versions of the Te Deum for a personal playlist. I especially like Haydn’s version, identified as “Hob. Xxiiic No. 2”

  7. animadversor says:

    There are many good things in France, M. l’Abbé, but I fear the French sometimes seem to have forgotten them.

  8. thomas tucker says:

    Mucoviscidose is cystic fibrosis. I’m sorry to read that she is ill. SHe is certainly talented. Let us all pray for her.

  9. Berenike says:

    What does “to have game” mean?

  10. tonycast says:

    Fr. Z

    Maybe you can sell this CD for profit to raise funds for you blog.

  11. Dorothy says:

    Fr. Z,
    Could you advise how we may go about purchasing this CD here in the States?
    I would get several to give as gifts!
    Thank you!

  12. Folks, I don’t have any CD’s of this music. I have no idea where to get CD’s of Ms. Barbey’s music. She is really the one who needs the support and credit right now.

  13. Zach says:

    Wow, I have to say that her music is probably the best contemporary music I’ve heard. When did she compose this, does anybody know? I think her music has got to get out there. Truely a great talent!

  14. Xavier Larreur says:

    First, thanks for the security word I have to type to post my comment. To write viva il papa! is a real pleasure!!!!
    For Zach: “Te Deum pour Lagrasse” has been performed for the first time in 2006. I think it’s the greatest Te Deum composed during the 21st century [ but this century is only seven years old :-))]
    I pray God to give years to Jeanne Barbey to mature her talent and to give us even greater religious pieces!

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