Sunday, January 6, 2008


How did things go at Blessed Sacrament?

Not bad, actually. Both Masses went over well. A couple of updates from my previous post:

1 - The Psalm 72 setting "TBA" was the one by Angelo della Picca from the 1975 People's Mass Book - I have to say it's a very good setting. His tone for the verses is Gelineau-like (one beat per bar). Of course, the antiphon has that notorious one beat pickup note that ties into the next bar (typical della Picca style of that time).

2 - I successfully got Angels we have heard on high OUT of the Alleluia slot. Unfortunately I landed up settling for the Celtics Alleluia, but at that point I'd rather do that than replacing the Alleluia with a hymn.

3 - ok, more than a couple of updates - the "either/or" at the Communion slot was settled - it was What Child is this - the better of the two choices for the day.

According to the (whoa!) pastoral assistant, there was "a lot of positive feedback". I'll take that as a good sign, especially coming from a pastoral assistant. As she left, she said to me, "We'll most likely be calling you".

At this time, it's doubtful that anything permanant will come of this. Don's an excellent organist with a very good reputation. He's due (as of now) to return by Easter. In the meantime, I'll just keep sending my resume afloat throughout the churchosphere and enjoy the ride while I can.

A real plus - one of my cantors had told me she had never heard of Gather Us In or All are Welcome.


The Aeolian-Skinner organ was fun to play, btw.


Richard Chonak said...

Glad to hear the temp job is going well!

Just as a matter of personal taste, I would have opted for the other song at Communion, just 'cause I find "What child is this?" rather depressing. It would have been more upbeat if the pop-band "Chicago" had sung it:

"Does anybody really know what child this is?
Does anybody really care about this child?
If so, I can't imagine who;
but He was born for me and you."

Lyn F. said...

rc, why, pray-tell, do you find "What Child is This" depressing? Is the lyrics or the music? I played this as Offertory today, and took it at dotted quarter = 48, with a cutesy little improvised solo'd out version as introduction (putting kind of a baroque spin with the ornaments I was throwing in). I tried not to make it too flowy-flowy, with a bit of a bounce, if you will (imagining some sort of Renaissance style as I was going along). FWIW, it got the ocngregation singing really well.

Brian Michael Page said...

I tried to bounce "What Child is this" as well, though both cantors (8:30 and 10:30) kinda slowed it down on me a bit. That's the effect I like to go for, though. I have a recording from 8:30 that's going up on this week's podcast - of my trying to go light and bouncy on a predominantly French stop list. That cast will go up sometime tomorrow (1/7/08) if all goes right.

Lyn F. said...

I heard the bounciness in your intro. However, it sounds very clearly that your cantor totally dragged down your tempo once she joined in. I'm sure you felt like trying to drag your horses out of quicksand.

(Naturally, this is in reaction to your podcast, which I am currently listening to.)

I'm sure there is a delay between the organ and where ever the cantor is? That can be a challenge, and one that I'm always facing whenever I cantor at IC ...

Brian Michael Page said...

There might be a slight delay, if any at all. There is absolutely no carpeting, except for one Oriental rug. The organ console is in the south transcept along with the choir area. The pipes are in the sanctuary. The cantor's ambo is roughly halfway between the console and the cases.

I still think it could have been a little quicker. I don't believe in playing a 45 on 78, but I don't believe in playing a 45 on 33-1/3 either, though either case is good for a laugh.

Richard Chonak said...

I'd like the song better if it had a different tune, something not so structurally and harmonically repetitive. It might be an interesting exercise to find an alternate tune, by the way.

On the other hand, the text starts with a really awful run-on question with nested clauses:

(What child is this (who (laid to rest on Mary's lap) is sleeping), (whom angels greet with anthems sweet (while shepherds watch are keeping)))?