Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Incredibly Beautiful Choral Singing

At the Maundy Thursday mass at St. Ignatius of Antioch Episcopal Church in New York City the usually excellent professional choir produced some unforgettable moments, of two sorts:

First was when they stopped singing notes and responded to pure overtones.  At those moments, of which there were several, their numbers seemed to double.

Second was when their exuberance in Josquin des Prez's wondrously festive Pange Lingua mass  imparted a lusty energy, almost reckless in its joy.

These qualities reflect the brilliance of their young conductor/fellow singer James Kennerley, whose work I have praised before on this blog and will surely praise again in the future.

* * * * 

Several days after this writing, reflecting on this singing, I have become aware, as if reliving the entire service, of what a huge effect it had on everything that transpired that evening--not just on me, but on the celebrant.  It was a better-than-perfect merging of music and the listener.