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Monday, 19 November 2012

Bad hymns of the alius cantus tradition



Eccles has now reached number 14 in the Bad Hymns series. This time he has an interview (it is a spoof) with the author of "Go, the Mass is ended." If you were born after the glorious seventies and missed this gem, fear not, the internet is here and you can savour its profound contribution to the alius cantus school of liturgical music in the video above. The practical importance of the hymn is outlined by the composer:
Of course some traddy priests will insist on saying "Ite, Missa est," which nobody can understand. So the congregation just hangs around wondering what to do next.
Music minsters need to be aware of the danger in the hymn's specificity. If you are used to choosing hymns more or less at random from a diocesan Music Planner, you might make the mistake of scheduling this one for the offertory. By the second or third repetition of the command, people will be voting with their feet.

At the foot of Eccles' post there are links to the appraisal of other classics. If votes are allowed, I'd really like to see a post on "I watch the Sunrise." This is an important song which has, in the words of the author's official website:
featured on radio and television, in concerts and churches all around the world, including the score of an Australian film, an album of Daniel O'Donnell, "Faith and Inspiration", a 2004 episode of "Coronation Street" [Britain's longest running TV soap opera] and the BBC Three 2005 documentary, "Gypsy Wars".
Interestingly, rivalling Mozart, the song has been featured in a concert in a Church (scroll down the News Page to "Packed house at Walsingham") and earned an encore. Unlike Mozart's Vesperae solennes de Confessore, however, it is hard to think of a liturgical service for which "I watch the sunrise" would be suitable.

I expect it featured at the recent Great Wakering Memorial Hall Concert for C.A.M.E., ("the pseudonym for the four churches who frequently work together in Great Wakering.") According to the News report,
The meal was a four course with a wide and varied selection to chose from, washed down by a endless supply of fruit juices, and finally followed by coffee and tea. 
Just as well - "I watch the sunrise" is heady enough without adding any mood-altering substances to the mix.
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