March 27, 2018
Music

DAVID’S APRIL REVIEWS/PICKS: MUSIC

Please consider when ordering any of these resources, to choose, whenever possible, ordering directly from the particular publisher (the link for each item is usually provided), rather than going to Amazon or similar outlets.  When you order from these distributors, the royalties for the composer, as well as the publisher, are greatly compromised, as a substantial portion of the royalties go to the ordering source.  The options to order from Amazon are provided here in many cases (and obviously in some cases, certain items may be out of print from the publisher), but most often, you should be able to obtain these resources from the specific publisher.  So, think about it … choose differently, support the composers and authors who have created these resources, and click on the links provided here to order directly from the publisher.

Song: Hold On to Love
Jesse Manibusan

Once again, the large and generous heart of Jesse Manibusan comes and touches ours with a most beautiful, tender, hope-filled and consoling song-prayer.  This song has the same simplicity of his ever popular “Open Eyes” and in my opinion, just as strong, prayer-filled, and soul-stirring.  The simplicity of the message touches the vulnerability that we all hold – and Jesse opens it up and brings God’s love directly to the center of our hearts.  While not a “liturgical song” per se, this is a song most assuredly born out of faith, and a journey of the paschal mystery well lived by this wonderful man.  As typical, Jesse has crafted a melody that just flows out, sings itself and cannot leave your brain – yet one I believe that will endure; wedded to a catechesis needed that only a musical storyteller like Jesse can bring.  Watch the video, and be ready to tear up.  Bless you for this gift, my brother.  From Come Fish with Me, together with Ken Canedo.  OCP Publications.  (DH: 3.27.18) 

Love, Burn Bright
Chris de Silva

This is a very strong collection of liturgical songs, with beautiful and strong melodies, texts that go deep, all serving various liturgical seasons and sacramental moments.  Chris has given us several treasures in this collection, including the title song, which is one of the strongest songs for Pentecost and Confirmation that has come along for some time.  “All Peoples, Clap Your Hands” is an infectious ostinato setting of Psalm 47; “A Generous Heart” is a most welcome setting of a prayer of St. Ignatius (“Prayer for Generosity); and his wonderful treatment and fresh approach to the well-known “Gaudete” carol will be fun for choirs to learn. God bless Chris for the ritual acclamations he created for weddings under the title “Acclamations for the Order of Celebrating Matrimony.”  Here we are given a gospel acclamation and a wonderful dialogic acclamation for the reception of the consent.  We need ritual pieces like this, especially for weddings.  Chris has come through for us with this offering.  I absolutely love “With A Word” with its energy and strength – good for many occasions, especially for celebrations of the RCIA; and I appreciate his offerings for Triduum – “This is How,” “Faithful Cross,” and “I Saw Water Flowing.”  The only issue that I have for “Faithful Cross” is that while I personally love the “Crux fidelis” hymn text, I wonder if congregations will be able to grasp some of the subtleties in the text (“Never was there such a scion …”). That being said, it is powerful and this trio of pieces will be welcomed by many.  This is a really fine compilation of music for worship – pastoral musicians, take the time to explore what is here, and you will find wonderful additions to your parish repertoire.  GIA Publications.  (DH: 3.27.18)

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Mass of Saint Matthias
Francis Patrick O’Brien

While there is a plethora of mass settings that have exploded forth since the 2010 revision of the Roman Missal, when a good one comes along we need to pay attention.  “Mass of Saint Matthias” is obviously named for the parish where Fran has been pastor for many years, and what a gift that community has been given in this very practical setting – graced with the gift for melody that Fran has always had (and made many of us very jealous as a result).  Here you will find strong settings of the various moments of the Mass.  The revised Gloria text is very challenging for liturgical composers (believe me, I know), and here, I believe Fran has created one of the best settings that has yet to arrive for pastoral musicians to consider.  The other ritual moments of the Eucharist – especially the acclamations for the Eucharistic Prayer – are strong, sustainable, very singable, and I believe will sustain themselves for a long time, which is a very important quality for mass settings to have. If I were presently a parish director of music I would order this right away for my ensembles (it works equally well for whatever instrumentation is available), cantors, and choirs – and the assembly would be the grateful beneficiary.  Good work, Fran.  You have done it again!  WLP Publications.  (DH: 3.27.18)

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