UPDATE 26 Feb:
Today, as I get ready for a clerical supper, I’ve been listening to this. It’s great on the big speakers, in the car, in my ear buds. Wow.
Originally Published on: Feb 14
The London Oratory Schola Cantorum Boys Choir has a new sacred music disc and it is wonderful: Sacred music from the Tudor era. It is the beginning of a series. I want every one of them.
Run, don’t walk, to get this new disc or download. Nay, rather, just click!
The line up:
1. Haec dies, John Sheppard
2. Gloria (Missa Euge bone), Christopher Tye
3. Credo (Missa Euge bone), Christopher Tye
4. Sanctus (Missa Euge bone), Christopher Tye
5. Benedictus (Missa Euge bone), Christopher Tye
6. Agnus Dei (Missa Euge bone), Christopher Tye
7. Salvator mundi I, Thomas Tallis
8. O nata lux, Thomas Tallis
9. Ave Maria, Robert Parsons
10. Ave verum corpus, William Byrd
11. Haec dies, William Byrd
12. Civitas sancti tui, William Byrd
13. Ave verum corpus, Peter Philips
14. Ascendit Deus, Peter Philips
Via a tweet from Damian Thompson I learned of this super-über-hyper-ultra cool video about the London Oratory filmed with drones.
It’s such a shame, though, that the Oratory lavishes all that great music on the Ordinary Form and has only Low Masses in the Extraordinary Form. Let the art serve the ritual it was written for!
Sounds delightful! (I wonder if there’s any record of the Tolkien Brothers’ repertoire, at the Birmingham Oratory, back in the day?)
I’d love to hear lots more Philips!
Don’t forget this is the schola cantorum of the London Oratory school in nearby Fulham (a state boys’ school). The Oratory Church has a professional mixed choir and a junior choir for boys and girls.
The Oratory went to considerable trouble half a century ago to adapt its musical and liturgical traditions to the new Mass. In the 1970s the Oratory fathers were not particularly interested in maintaining the Old Rite; although allowed under indult it was seen as a lost cause.
The present generation of Oratorians (in London and elsewhere) are more committed to the Usus Antiquior and it would not surprise me if London followed the example of Birmingham and made its principal Sunday Mass one in the EF. The congregation would certainly approve, and I suspect that many would not notice the difference.
I work just round the corner from the Oratory, and pop in regularly. It would be superb if they did switch to celebrating the EF as their principle Mass on Sundays and Holy Days!
One particular point I noticed was that the Blesses Sacrament is clearly NOT reserved in the video (no candles, no veil over the tabernacle), presumably because there would have been techie people wandering around the churh ignoring it.
This is exactly the right thing to do. I’ve sometimes sung at a church where we’re made to sing and rehearse up in the sanctuary, with our backs to the Blessed Sacrament, and it’s all wrong. To say nothing of the people strewing their music folders over the altar…
Interestingly, the Oratorians never adopted the new form of Vespers (unlike Westminster Cathedral). Both churches are regularly featured on BBC radio’s ‘Choral Evensong’.
Anyone visiting the Church on a Saturday morning is likely to find at least one Low Mass being celebrated at a side altar.
I believe the London Oratory is unique in offering both EF and OF in Latin every single day.
Great video, thanks Fr. Z. Thanks to commentors for the info.
John Nolan: “and I suspect that many would not notice the difference.”
You are mostly right, I think, but the chanted Epistle and Gospel would be noticed. Also, the silent canon would be a big difference, and the sub-deacon in humeral veil kneeling (but the choir would be singing the Sanctus for most of the first part of the canon anyway). And the Pater Noster, up to the “sed libera nos…” would not be sung by the congregation, of course. But yes, not much difference. Although I only get to go there on my infrequent London visits (whey) I don’t think they would object. I certainly wouldn’t. But even in its current (proper, as was intended etc.) form, I do love it. So look forward to being there again, perhaps later this year. Dum spiro, spero. Deo volente.
Umm.. “whey” was supposed to be “eheu” Spellcheck and mobiles… eheu mi.
This sort of thing is probably what will convince people to seek the old form and realize its value. Jaykay, it certainly is worth going out of one’s whey for.
I’m glad something good came out of the Tudor era.