Choral Music at Saint Thomas Aquinas Church
Solemn Mass at 10:45 am
Fourth Sunday of Easter, April 21st
Brother James’ Air (The Lord’s my Shepherd),
James L.M. Bain (1860-1925), arr. Alan Bullard (b.1947)
O quam gloriosum- Tomas Luis de Victoria (1548-1611)
O quam gloriosum est regnum, O how glorious is the kingdom
in quo cum Christo gaudent omnes Sancti! In which all the saints rejoice with Christ,
Amicti stolis albis, Clad in robes of white
sequuntur Agnum, quocumque ierit. They follow the Lamb wherever he goes.
Fifth Sunday of Easter, April 28th
Mandatum novum- Luke Mayernik (b. 1981)
Mandatum novum do vobis A new commandment I give to you
ut diligatis invicem, sicut dilexi vos. That you love one another, as I have loved you
Jubilate Deo- Benjamin Britten (1913-1976)
Sixth Sunday of Easter, May 5th
Verleih uns Frieden- Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (1809-1847)
Verleih uns Frieden gnädiglich, In these our days so perilous,
Herr Gott, zu unsern Zeiten. Lord, peace in mercy send us;
Es ist doch ja kein andrer nicht, No God but thee can fight for us,
der für uns könnte streiten, No God but thee defend us;
denn du, unser Gott, alleine. Thou our only God and Savior.
I will not leave you comfortless- William Byrd (1540-1623)
The Ascension of the Lord, May 12th
Ascendit Deus- Ferdinand Schaller
Ascendit Deus in jubilatione God ascends with rejoicing
et Dominus in voce tubae. and the Lord with the sound of trumpets.
Men of Galilee- Phillip Pennington Harris (b. 1961)
A note about today's organ voluntaries...
Excerpts from L’ascension, Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992)
Prelude- Majesté du Christ demandant sa gloire à son Père
(Majesty of Christ praying that His Father should glorify Him)
Postlude- Transports de joie d’une âme devant la gloire du Christ qui est la sienne
(Outburst of joy from a soul before the Glory of Christ which is its own glory)
The solo organ music this Sunday will come from Messiaen’s suite of four symphonic meditations, written for the Feast of the Ascension. Originally composed for orchestra in 1932, the suite was transcribed for solo organ the following year, and has become a staple of twentieth-century organ repertoire. Each movement is based on a short verse from the story of the Ascension. The Prelude is based on verses from John’s Gospel, “Father, the hour is come: glorify Thy Son, that Thy Son also may glorify Thee,” (John 17:1). The movement at the Postlude is based on verses from Colossians and Ephesians, “Giving thanks unto the Father which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the Saints in light… has raised us up together and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus,” (Col 1:12; Eph 2:6). Messiaen’s unique tonal language and distinctive rhythmic concepts reflect the true power of the Ascension in a very dramatically poetic way. His deep fascination with the Roman Catholic Church is reflected in his highly imaginative, almost visual, treatments of liturgical feasts and scriptural images. The piece is rich, complex, and challenging for both the performer and the listener. For those unfamiliar with Messiaen’s style, it may take a very open mind at first to hear his innovative approach to sacred music, and to understand what makes him one of the most influential composers of the twentieth century.
Pentecost Sunday, May 19th
Ev'ry Time I Feel the Spirit - Traditional American Spiritual, arr. Moses Hogan (1957-2003)
O ignee spiritus- St. Hildegard von Bingen, O.S.B.
Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179) , Abbess of Rupertsburg and Eibingen, was a mystic, poet and prolific composer of her time. Her oeuvre included writings on botany, theology and medicine as well as accounts of her visions from God.
O Ignee Spiritus is a hymn setting rich in poetic imagery, taken from Symphonia armoniae celestium revelationum, a cycle of antiphons, hymns, sequences and responsories.
Hildegard would have likely used an early type of harp and some sort of drone to help keep singers on pitch. Today you will hear this chant in a similar fashion. The translation is provided below.
O ignee Spiritus, laus tibi sit,
qui in timpanis et citharis operaris.
Mentes hominum de te flagrant et
tabernacula animarum eorum vires
Inde voluntas ascendit et gustum
anime tribuit, et eius lucerna est
Unde omnes creature que de te
vivunt, te laudant, quia tu
preciosissimum ungentum es fractis
et fetidis vulneribus, ubi illa in
preciosissimas gemmas convertis.
Nunc dignare nos omnes ad te
colligere et ad recta itinera dirigere.
O fiery Spirit, praise be to you, who
play upon the timbrel and the lyre.
The minds of human beings are
ablaze from you and the tabernacles
of their souls contain their forces.
Thence the will ascends and bestows
goodness on the soul, and its lantern
Hence, all creatures who from you
have life, praise you, for you are a
most precious ointment for broken
and fetid wounds, when you convert
them into the most precious jewels.
Now deign us all to gather ourselves
to you and direct us towards
righteous paths. Amen.