Thursday, October 18, 2007

Virile and strong chant

From Sandro Magister of La Chiesa thru Amy:
There’s still much to do to bring back to life in St. Peter’s what was, in ancient times, the Cappella Giulia – the choir specifically founded for the basilica – and to revive the splendors of the Roman musical style, a style in which the sacred polyphony pioneered by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina and Gregorian chant, also sung in the Roman manner (virile and strong, not like the monastic models inspired by Solesmes), alternate and enrich each other.

But there has been a new beginning. And Benedict XVI wanted to tell the chapter that this is the right path.
Amen! I wish more traddies would not just drool over anything that's not Haugen/Haas but realize how so much of that crap shares the same DNA with the gooey, effete chanting of Solesmes. And enough already with the meme that Gregorian chant is the be-all of Roman liturgy.

What remains lacking is a confrontation with the root causes of the problem. This current "restorationist" mode we're seeing under Benedict could be just that: a swing, a phase based on nothing more than papal whims. Liturgical norms become analogous to the weather: if you don't like them, just wait till the winds change. This would only invite the next ambitious pope to foist his own tastes on the rest of us. Catholics have yet to dig themselves out of the hole that reduces Liturgy to a voluntaristic exercise of papal authority in dialectic tension with the will to power of local liturgists. Unfortunately, most of Western liturgy is still stuck in the logic of power analysis.