Thursday, February 14, 2008
First Weekend as an official Christus Vincit Sub
I was honored to be called to St. Mary Magdalene Church in Abbeville, Louisiana this past weekend to serve as organist for the parish's High Mass (normativa). The organ was built by Otto Hoffmann at the same time as the instrument in Fatima Church, Lafayette. Like its sister instrument now behind the Iron Curtain, it also has the ability to handle repertoire from different periods and of different tone colors. It can be Baroque and it can be Romantic just as easily. Different from the Fatima instrument, however, is that the Abbeville organ has a facade -- a groovy 1960's angular, rather neo-Baroque facade. There are presently little putti affixed to various places on the facade, which, I understand, were added some time after the instrument was installed. Strange how these putti seem to follow me. Please do not send me putti in the mail, folks. I don't actually collect them! The choir at the church is very very good. They sang their Pergolesi anthem wonderfully and really shined on on their SATB singing of the Crueger "Herzliebster Jesu, was hast Du verbrochen?" (in English). That chorale, by the way is one of my absolute favorites. My own choir knew the chorale as well and sang it during the Triduum. We also were treated to a wonderful soprano singing the In Paradisum from the Faure Requiem. Splendid. The Mass itself was the actual Mass in the Roman Rite. Not some watered down Mass-like paraliturgical Sunday get-it-over-with-fast affair. We had an actual procession, the incensation of the altar both before the Kyrie and at the offertory. The Ordinary was Iubilate Deo (without the Credo). There were the customary organ improvisations during both incensations as well as during the Gospel procession. It was such a wonderful experience to be allowed to spread my wings at the organ console and actually play the Holy Mass! I am very thankful for that opportunity. My wings that had been clipped since last April are healing nicely.