Andrew Carwood

Well it does to the people who post here... dispassionate and reasoned debate, with a good deal of humour thrown in for good measure.

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Nick Baty
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Re: Andrew Carwood

Post by Nick Baty »

Why?

IncenseTom
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Re: Andrew Carwood

Post by IncenseTom »

Nick Baty wrote:Why?


Because Cathedrals such as Westminster are incredibly well resourced and therefore able to tackle a much higher standard of music.

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Nick Baty
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Re: Andrew Carwood

Post by Nick Baty »

You can be resourced up to the hilt but what matters is how the principal musicians of celebrant, cantor and congregation sing the liturgy.

Some of the best music in the country comes from cathedrals with fewer resources: Clifton, Hallam, Salford. They're the places I'd go to for inspiration.

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Re: Andrew Carwood

Post by IncenseTom »

Nick Baty wrote:You can be resourced up to the hilt but what matters is how the principal musicians of celebrant, cantor and congregation sing the liturgy.

Some of the best music in the country comes from cathedrals with fewer resources: Clifton, Hallam, Salford. They're the places I'd go to for inspiration.


'Best' by what criteria? I'd imagine we all have a different idea about which pieces/ types of music inspire us.

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Nick Baty
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Re: Andrew Carwood

Post by Nick Baty »

Well you'd have to begin by explaining what you mean by "higher standard of music".
But as the main singers are the presider and assembly, singability has to be high on the list.

As parish musicians, we have to move beyong "types of music inspire us" and look to what best fits rite, action, function etc

But I would define "best" as:
Music which illuminates rite or action.
Music which carries the text.
Music which inspires the assembly to sing that which is rightly theirs.

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Re: Andrew Carwood

Post by IncenseTom »

Nick Baty wrote:Well you'd have to begin by explaining what you mean by "higher standard of music".
But as the main singers are the presider and assembly, singability has to be high on the list.

As parish musicians, we have to move beyong "types of music inspire us" and look to what best fits rite, action, function etc

But I would define "best" as:
Music which illuminates rite or action.
Music which carries the text.
Music which inspires the assembly to sing that which is rightly theirs.


By "higher standard of music" I think I was getting at greater difficulty, sung and played more professionally with greater accuracy and musicality. I would stress that I am talking about things like the following which are all liturgical.
JW wrote:

Resurrexi, 196 I
Missa Papæ Marcelli (K, G, A1, A2) Palestrina
O filii et filiæ Tisserot arr. Baker
Hæc dies, 196 G
Pascha nostrum, 197 A
Victimæ paschali laudes, 198 Sq
Sanctus I
Pascha nostrum, 199 C
Jesus Christ is risen today H
Organ: Prelude and Fugue in B major Dupré

1530 SOLEMNVESPERS AND BENEDICTION Full Choir
Magnificat primi toni Bevan
Ad cenam Agni providi H
Surrexit a mortuis Widor
Cum esset sero M
Organ: Prelude and Fugue in D Schmidt


I would argue that the music above does illuminate the rite or action, and does carry the text while it may not so much get the assembly singing. I do agree that the assembly should sing the parts for them, but I repeat that part of going to a Cathedral service is hear something different to what you'd find in the church down the road.

I'm sure parish musicians reading this do take into account what best fits rite, action, etc rather than their own personal preferences.

I am simply putting the other side of the argument (something which very often seems to be shot down on this forum).

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Nick Baty
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Re: Andrew Carwood

Post by Nick Baty »

But the greater resources you mention are not employed at the high points like the Alleluia and Sanctus.
Yes, I'm sure the youngsters will love it.
Harder for we old gits.

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Re: Andrew Carwood

Post by londonchurchman »

IncenseTom wrote:Pope Benedict reminded us that we don't always have to sing for the music to help our participation in the Liturgy - listening works too. Let me be clear - i'm in no way in favour of silencing the congregation, merely saying that at the Mother church of England and Wales one ought to expect to hear things you wouldn't normally hear in a rural or town parish.


I actually agree that Westminster Cathedral do a pretty good job. They balance the two fully choral services - solemn mass and vespers - with at least three other Sunday sung masses which all include congregational settings, chants, hymns and the Sursum Corda and Our Father. And benediction and morning prayer is congregational. This seems to strike the right balance compared to places like the Oratory who clearly don't give the congregation anything - if you pick up a hymn book you get a dirty look - try and sing and I dread to think what might happen!!

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Re: Andrew Carwood

Post by Southern Comfort »

IncenseTom wrote:but I repeat that part of going to a Cathedral service is hear something different to what you'd find in the church down the road.


Another debatable point. Should a cathedral do different things from a parish church, or the same things but to a higher standard and with more elaboration? I think we need to be clear exactly what we're saying here. Should people be able to identify with what they find in their cathedral (as would be the case at Salford or Hallam, for example) or should it be completely irrelevant to their parish experience?

I can remember the days (1970s) when the Westminster diocesan council of priests wrote off the Cathedral as "a mausoleum with music". I think some things at "the Drome" have changed, but the "principal" and "capitular" (an adjective used as an excuse for breaking the rules) liturgies are pretty much as they were then.

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Nick Baty
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Re: Andrew Carwood

Post by Nick Baty »

Southern Comfort wrote:Should a cathedral do different things from a parish church... Should people be able to identify with what they find in their cathedral...
And/or should the cathedral be giving parishes a model to which they can aspire? I'm thinking of the examples I saw in the 80s from Philip Duffy at Liverpool, Christopher Walker and Paul Inwood at Clifton and Andrew Wright at Brentwood.

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Re: Andrew Carwood

Post by londonchurchman »

Having been on the road for the last 6 months and attending mass across the country I would be more interested to know where the parishes are that have good liturgical music that others can learn from. I am afraid I simply found week after week a depressing picture of silent congregations, poor choirs, inappropriate hymn choices - nothing is worse than participative liturgal music in which no-one participates. When I could I asked people over coffee what they thought of the music they just pulled a face or shrugged their shoulders, but whenever I said are there any places with good music they generally said "Oh you have to go to the cathedral for that."

It is a shame that the flagship parishes out there are not better known - it would help if they at least put something about their music ministry on their websites but only a handful of catholic parishes do this, unlike their Anglican counterparts.

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Re: Andrew Carwood

Post by alan29 »

londonchurchman wrote:Having been on the road for the last 6 months and attending mass across the country I would be more interested to know where the parishes are that have good liturgical music that others can learn from. I am afraid I simply found week after week a depressing picture of silent congregations, poor choirs, inappropriate hymn choices - nothing is worse than participative liturgal music in which no-one participates. When I could I asked people over coffee what they thought of the music they just pulled a face or shrugged their shoulders, but whenever I said are there any places with good music they generally said "Oh you have to go to the cathedral for that."

It is a shame that the flagship parishes out there are not better known - it would help if they at least put something about their music ministry on their websites but only a handful of catholic parishes do this, unlike their Anglican counterparts.


I think there should be an important role for diocesan directors of music in spreading good practice by what ever means they have. I see no reason that deaneries should not be able to organise sessions too. But it is very, very difficult to get some folks to shift their perspective from performing to the congregation to enabling them to sing. In our own parish, one of the masses has singers that like to stand facing the congregation from the front to sing at them, while the other mass has musicians who play and sing from the side and encourage good congregational singing. In Holy week the groups combine to inevitable fireworks - ego is a terrible thing when it comes to worship.

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Re: Andrew Carwood

Post by Nick Baty »

londonchurchman wrote:I simply found week after week a depressing picture of silent congregations, poor choirs, inappropriate hymn choices...
Choir and hymns, IMHO, are two of the paths to poor liturgical music. We need to start from scratch, get back to basics. I know I keep banging on about the priorities as laid down in that small but document Singing the Mass (Bishops Conference 1997 and reproduced in the back of Laudate) but they really do work.
londonchurchman wrote:...but whenever I said are there any places with good music they generally said "Oh you have to go to the cathedral for that."
Were these any particular cathedrals?

When I was researching for my MMus (2006-2008), I found that some of the parishes with the greatest musical resources had some of the poorest liturgical music.

For example, one of the most splendidly equipped had a large adult choir and separate boys and girls choir. But the Sanctus was taken from a repertoire including Byrd, Palestrina, Haydn, Mozart, Vierne and Langlais. Interestingly, two plainsong settings were used "during choir holidays” which, to my way of thinking, shows a lower standard when the choir is present than when it is away. The psalm was sung by the choir in the gallery, rather than by the cantor at the ambo. Further – again, considering the huge resources available – all this music happened at one Sunday celebration. Two of the Sunday Masses didn't even have sung Gospel greeting or Eucharistic Acclamations.

Another parish had just a cantor, occasionally accompanied by organ or guitar. Yet here the assembly sang Gospel greeting, Eucharistic Acclamations, responsorial psalm and communion psalm.

Which had the higher standard of liturgical music?

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Re: Andrew Carwood

Post by JW »

What do you have in mind, londonchurchman? Here is the music page of our website http://www.rcrainham.freeuk.com/music.html. The webite is being re-designed so any comments would be welcomed. I need convincing that posting music lists is productive, though it would save me emailing them to the choir.

Do other churches look at posted music lists? Would it put them off, thinking "we couldn't do that so we won't bother trying".

When the new translation was introduced, I made an offer to the deanery via our parish priest to run a half day session on new Mass settings. I didn't hear a thing, and there are still old-translation Mass settings being used in the deanery. Last summer I even heard the Duffy Gloria refrain used with the old words of the verses being SAID!
JW

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Re: Andrew Carwood

Post by londonchurchman »

Nick Baty wrote:
londonchurchman wrote:I simply found week after week a depressing picture of silent congregations, poor choirs, inappropriate hymn choices...
Choir and hymns, IMHO, are two of the paths to poor liturgical music. We need to start from scratch, get back to basics. I know I keep banging on about the priorities as laid down in that small but document Singing the Mass (Bishops Conference 1997 and reproduced in the back of Laudate) but they really do work.
londonchurchman wrote:...but whenever I said are there any places with good music they generally said "Oh you have to go to the cathedral for that."
Were these any particular cathedrals?

When I was researching for my MMus (2006-2008), I found that some of the parishes with the greatest musical resources had some of the poorest liturgical music.

For example, one of the most splendidly equipped had a large adult choir and separate boys and girls choir. But the Sanctus was taken from a repertoire including Byrd, Palestrina, Haydn, Mozart, Vierne and Langlais. Interestingly, two plainsong settings were used "during choir holidays” which, to my way of thinking, shows a lower standard when the choir is present than when it is away. The psalm was sung by the choir in the gallery, rather than by the cantor at the ambo. Further – again, considering the huge resources available – all this music happened at one Sunday celebration. Two of the Sunday Masses didn't even have sung Gospel greeting or Eucharistic Acclamations.

Another parish had just a cantor, occasionally accompanied by organ or guitar. Yet here the assembly sang Gospel greeting, Eucharistic Acclamations, responsorial psalm and communion psalm.

Which had the higher standard of liturgical music?


I don't think it has to be either/or but I agree with you that regardless of that balance congregational participation should be the aim in every service. Having a cantor was certainly the norm at the services I attended, yet here too the assembly was almost always silent.

My general observation would be in fact that at the unaccompanied masses (which were generally the Vigil or early Sunday morning ones) there seemed to be a slightly better level of participation. That is certainly the experience of my home parish in North London where I have returned to find a new priest who clearly shows an interest in the music and makes it clear that he expects people to sing. Two formerly silent masses now have at least majority participation.

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