TREASURY OF SACRED MUSIC from St. Joseph's Seminary Choirs ($16.95)

STJOE: 0-6147-1259-2

Part I (1954-1964) Reverend Monsignor Richard B. Curtin, Director of Music
1   Veni, Veni Emmanuel  Gregorian/Hufstader   Recorded 1955  2:41
2   In Dulci Jubilo  Old German Tune  Recorded in 1955  2:29
3   Christus Factus Est  Gregorian Chant   Recorded in 1954  2:44
4   O Sacred Head Bach  Recorded in 1954  3:25
5   In Monte Oliveti   Croce  Recorded in 1954   3:33
6   Tantum Ergo  Spanish Chant  Recorded in 1963   1:40
7   Ave Verum  DesPres  Recorded in 1964  4:03
8   O Bone Jesu  Palestrina  Recorded in 1964   1:43
9   Hymn of St. Patrick Woollen  Recorded in 1963   2:32 
10 Oremus Pro Pontifice  Ambrosini  Recorded in 1963   3:02
11 O Esca Viatorum  Anonymous  Recorded in 1963  3:23

Part II (1993-1995) Reverend Anthony D. Sorgie, Director of Music
All recordings made in 1995, except as noted
12  Come Holy Ghost   Traditional/Zuar  4:21
13  Tu Es Petrus   Gregorian/Ravanello  1:29
14  Magnificat  Thompson  3:15
15  Jesu Redemptor Omnium  Ravanello  Recorded in 1993   3:02
16  The Heavens Are Thine Hilber  2:36
17  Laudate Dominum  Charpentier/Hitchcock  3:56
18 Domine Non Sum Dignus  Victoria  1:50
19  O Sacrum Convivium  Remondi  1:47
20  Thanks Be To Thee  Handel/Lefebvre  3:05
21  Jubilate Deo  Peeters/Currie  5:09

22  Alleluia  Bach/Ehret  1:40
23  Salve Regina Gregorian Chant  1:39
24  Tu Es Sacerdos  Montoni  2:30

This anniversary collection of hymns, chant and polyphony reflects a wide range of the Catholic Church's sacred music and spans two distinct eras at St. Joseph's Seminary in Yonkers.  The seminary, known as Dunwoodie, after the quiet community where it rests, celebrates its 100th year of preparing priests for the Archdiocese of New York.  No more fitting tribute could be given to the sacred work of the seminary and to the fine men who have graced its halls then this collection featuring choirs from the 1950's, 1960's and 1990's.  To say that here the old school meets the new would be misleading.  The sacred music of the Church is, in its own way, timeless.  It is fashioned to present not the passing spirit of an age but the perduring source of beauty which speaks to every soul.

     A distinct character marks this recording. Each piece flows from the inspired life and reflection of the Church through out the centuries, as she attempts to express and touch the deep mystery of God.  The music comes from prayer and leads to prayer.  The listener is warmly invited to respond to the call.

     The collection is also marked by the beautiful use of Latin, the Church's traditional language, and the distinctive harmony of all male voices.

     The appeal of these tones reaches far beyond the cloister.  In fact, the project may never have gotten off the ground if not for the encouragement of the popular music man Sam Goody, whose flashy stores dot the New York metropolitan area.  Back in the 1950's, when Msgr. Richard B. Curtin (Dunwoodie Class of '42), the seminary's music director, thought of recording the hymns of his students, Sam Goody offered generous advice and guidance.  He even sold the finished LP's in his stores.  Such a cooperation between the sacred and the secular has been the way of the Church from her beginning, and it is ordered toward the spreading of the Gospel.

     Father Anthony D. Sorgie (Dunwoodie Class of '82) was named the seminary's music director in 1986 and set about renewing Dunwoodie's great music traditions.  After listening to the four LP's recorded under the direction of Msgr. Curtin, Father Sorgie decided to follow in his predecessor's footsteps and record the 1993 Advent and Christmas concert.  Guided by the experienced hand of executive producer Stephen Challman (Dunwoodie class of '96), the Concert for Advent and Christmas recording has become a part of the holiday music collection of thousands of music lovers.

     The 100th anniversary of St.Joseph's Seminary provided the occasion to assemble this anthology of sacred music which features five decades of seminary voices.  Selections from the original reference recordings and master tapes made by Msgr. Curtin in the 1950's and 1960's have been remastered using state of the art digital technology.

     In the summer of 1995, Fr. Sorgie formed the Centennial Choir, inviting priest alumni of Dunwoodie to join the seminars for a unique recording session.  The membership of this choir represents the ordination classes spanning the years 1978 through 2000.  The rich one-hundred year musical heritage of St. Joseph's Seminary, performed by fifty years of Dunwoodie men, is captured for all ages on one recording.  The result is a supreme example of the collaborative work of the Church in the modern world.

     The Catholic Church, by her nature, is on a mission to speak in many languages and various media the saving message of Jesus Christ.   With an abiding understanding of this truth, St. Joseph's Seminary now sends out into the world the sacred words and tones which form its life of prayer - the prayer which forms the priests of tomorrow who will lead the People of God in their pilgrimage here on earth.

-Brian Caulfield
Catholic New York


A Treasury of Sacred Music
Part I (1954-1964)

The Seminary Choir of the 1950's and 60's had twenty-five members at any one time, 24 singers and an organist, and sang only at the liturgical ceremonies in the seminary, and very rarely, at St. Patrick's Cathedral.  It appeared in concert only once, in 1961 at Hebrew Union Seminary in New York City, in a joint recital with the Cantorial Choir of Hebrew Union and the choir of the School of Sacred Music of Union Theological Seminary.

Rehearsal time was limited due to the strict seminary schedule.  The only regular rehearsal period was twenty-five minutes on Saturday afternoon, and extra rehearsals for a special occasion were few.  Gregorian chant was the main item of repertoire, and part-music was generally in Latin as well, and both these items were important in singing classic polyphony.   Above all, the spiritual awareness, the generosity and the pride of the seminarians were the greatest factors in the performance of the Seminary Choir.

Part 1 of the recordings begins, as does the liturgical year, with the Advent season.  The first two selections are taken from the 1956 LP, The Music for Advent and Christmas, the next  three from the Music for Holy Week, which was released in 1954.  The remaining selections are taken from Sacred Music Around the Year, 1963 and the Music of Lent and Passiontide, 1964.  All four LP's feature the choir performing in the Seminary chapel.  The records were manufactured monaurally, as was common at that time, but the original stereo master tapes have been restored and used for the last six selections as they are presented here.

-Msgr. Richard B. Curtin

Veni, Veni Emmanuel
(recorded 1955)

An unpublished setting by Robert Hufstader, contemporary composer and educator, of three stanzas from the 12th century hymn.  The original is a rhymed version of the Great O Antiphons sung as Evening Prayer on the seven days leading up to the feast of Christ's birth.

In Dulci Jubilo
(recorded 1955)

A 14th century macaronic, i.e., mixed text German-Latin carol.   Both text and tune are from the same era.

Christus Factus Est
(recorded 1954)

The chant before the singing of the Passion on Palm Sunday.  Before the 1970 reform it was the Gradual of the Holy Thursday Mass, and was also sung each evening at Tenebrae.  This chant has been part of Holy Week liturgies at Dunwoodie every year since 1986.  The melody mirrors the text unusually well, and yet, as far as is known, it was not composed specifically for this text, but is rather a "type melody," used for several liturgical texts of decidedly different sentiments.

O Sacred Head
(recorded 1954)

Text from a Latin hymn attributed to St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1091-1153) translated into German by Paulus Gerhardt (1607-1676) and from this into English by H.W. Baker (1821-1877).  The tune is originally by H.L. Hassler (1564-1612), and is best known from the many settings by J.S. Bach (1685-1750).

In Monte Oliveti
(recorded 1954)

A responsory from Tenebrae of Holy Thursday.  The musical setting is by Giovanni Croce (1558-1609), Italian composer and priest who was director of music at Saint Mark's, Venice.

Tantum Ergo
(recorded 1963)

The last two verses of the hymn Pange Lingua by St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274).These were required to be sung at Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.  The melody is of Mozarabic origin as researched by the monks of the Abbey of Santo Domingo at Silos, Spain.

Ave Verum
(recorded 1964)

Part of a hymn attributed to Pope Innocent VI, who became Pope in 1351.  At one time it was by custom sung at the Elevation of the Sacred Host in Mass.  The melody is based on the plainchant setting of the same hymn.

O Bone Jesu
(recorded 1964)

A well-known text of unknown origin.  The musical setting is one of several versions attributed to G.P. Palestrina (1525-1594).

Hymn of Saint Patrick
(recorded 1963)

Based on the ancient poem, "The Breastplate of St. Patrick," Russell Woollen (1923-1993) composed this setting.

Oremus Pro Pontifice
(recorded 1963)

The text of the Prayer for the Pope as found in the Raccolta, in a contemporary setting by Attilio Ambrosini..

O Esca Viatorum
(recorded 1963)

First found in the Mainz Hymnbook of 1661.   According to the Julian Dictionary of Hymnology, it was "Probably composed by a German Jesuit, though it has by some been ascribed to St. Thomas Aquinas."  The composer of the melody is unknown.

Part II (1993-1995)

The choir of the 1980's and 1990's has numbered between 25 and 40 voices, varying with the Seminary population. This dedicated part of the community sings for Sunday and Festal Liturgies at Dunwoodie and at St. Patrick's Cathedral on a regular basis.  The choir has performed for Pope John Paul II twice, on April 17, 1990 at the Vatican, and on October 6, 1995 during the visit of the Holy Father to St. Joseph's Seminary.

Part II of this recording celebrates our 100th academic year with performances by the Seminary and Centennial Choirs, opeing with the processional hymn from the Mass of the Holy spirit, continuing thourgh the historic Papal Visit, and culminating with the Ordination to the Priesthood.   Also featured on this part of the recording is the Casavant Freres Pipe Organ which was bult in 1960 and restored in 1996.  This elegant instrument and the prayerful voices of the choir add splendor to all Dunwoodie liturgies and contribute to the ultimate goal of Sacred Music:  "the glory of God and the edification of His people."

- Father Anthony D. Sorgie

(all recordings made in 1995, except as noted)

Come Holy Ghost

Brian Zuar (b. 1957) arranged this traditional metrical hymn in three parts and composed an intricate brass melody based on the chant Veni Creator Spiritus which is highlighted by the organ on this recording.

Tu Es Petrus

The Gregorian chant used as the Communion verse for the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul is followed by a three part polyphonic setting of the same text by Oreste Ravanello (1876-1938).  Found in the
Anthologia Vocalis Liturgica, it is based on Matthew 16:18.  This was performed for Pope John Paul II during his visit to Dunwoodie on October 6, 1995.


This composition premiered during the Evening Prayer service conducted by Pope John Paul II in the Seminary Chapel.  Written for the Dunwoodie Choir by J. Michael Thompson, it uses the Renaissance practice of alternatim, alternating between verses sung in Pslam Tone VIII of the Gregorian system and newly composed variations.

Jesu Redemptor Omnium
(recorded 1993)

Oreste Ravanello composed this Advent Evening Prayer hymn using a sixth century chant melody as the cantus firmus.

The Heavens Are Thine

Arranged by Frank Campbell-Watson for Msgr. Curtin and the Dunwoodie Choir in 1964, the text is taken from the Offertory Prayer of Christmas Day.

Laudate Dominum

Marc-Antoine Charpentier (1634-1704) set the Latin verses of Psalm 117 into this short four movement work.  Psalm 117 frequently appears in the universal prayer of the Church, the Liturgy of the Hours.

Domine Non Sum Dignus

The text of Matthew 8:8, as adapted for use during the preparation of communion in the Ordo Missae is presented here in a polyphonic setting by Tomas Luis de Victoria (1548-1611).

O Sacrum Convivium

The Magnificat Antiphon for the Feast of Corpus Christi, the text is a poetic reflection by St. Thomas Aquinas on the Sacred Banquet.  This three part setting was composed by Roberto Remondi.

Thanks Be To Thee

This motet is attributed to George Frederic Handel (1785-1859) and celebrates the triumphant passing of the Israelites through the Red Sea into the promised land.

Jubilate Deo

Flor Peeters (1903-1986) composed this five movement work based on Psalm 100.


This single line of an Alleluia versicle demonstrates the organ style of J.S. Bach (1685-1750).  The German text has been adapted in this setting as an Easter Acclamation.

Salve Regina

One of the Marian antiphons from Night Prayer, it has found a place in the general repertoire of Hymns to Our Lady.   Traditionally sung before the recessional, the hymn holds a place of honor at all major Seminary liturgical celebrations.

Tu Es Sacerdos

Based on Hebrews 6:20, this setting was arranged by Nicholas Montoni in the fashion of an anthem.  The text has been part of Priesthood Ordination ceremonies for centuries.

Music in Volume 2:

Reverend Monsignor Richard B. Curtin, Director of Music 1946-1966
1 Ecce Panis Angelorum Anonymous 1963 Seminary Choir 1:45
2 Ave Verum Scheuren 1963 Seminary Choir 3:09
3 O Salutaris Hostia Haller 1963 Seminary Choir 1:13
4 Tantum Ergo Aiblinger 1963 Seminary Choir 1:51
5 O Sacrum Convivium Viadana 1963 Seminary Choir 2:14
6 Ave Maria Gregorian Chant 1963 Seminary Choir 1:08
7 Vere Langores Lotti 1964 Seminary Choir 3:00
8 Adoramus Te Ruffo 1964 Seminary Choir 3:06
9 Tibi Laus Lassus 1964 Seminary Choir 2:02
10 Veni Creator Spiritu Singenberger/Chant 1963 Seminary Choir 5:17
11 Prayer of St. Francis Hunter 1965 Papal Mass Choir 4:41
12 Christus Vincit Anonymous 1965 Papal Mass Choir 3:28

Reverend Anthony D. Sorgie, Director of Music 1986 to present
13 Kyrie for Five Voices Byrd 1993 Festival Choir* 1:46
14 O Sacrum Convivium Remondi 1992 Seminary Choir* 1:41
15 Jesu Rex Admirabilis Palestrina/Chant 1995 Centennial Choir 3:29
16 Ave Verum Elgar 1995 Centennial Choir 2:35
17 In Monte Oliveti Bruckner 1995 Centennnial Choir 1:27
18 The Angel Cried Balakirev 1991 Festival Choir* 2:00
19 Sicut Cervus Palestrina 1991 Festival Choir* 2:57
20 Salvation is Created Tschesnokov 1997 Festival Choir* 2:19
21 This is the Night Schneider 1997 Festival Choir* 3:24
22 Hallelujah Beethoven 1997 Festival Choir* 5:01

*recorded live in concert

The place of sacred music in the life of the church has an effective function and a lofty purpose. Its function is to be the handmaiden of the liturgy, making the sung prayers beautiful, solemn, and moving. The lofty purpose of sacred music, like the liturgy itself, was described most succinctly by Pope St. Pius X when he wrote that the purpose of sacred music is "the glory of God and the sanctification and edification of the faithful."

Sacred music, because of the important place it holds in the life of the church, has always held an important place in the life of the seminary. Desiring to have the Eucharist and the Liturgy of the Hours carried out with their proper solemnity in the seminary, provision has always been made for a choir of seminarians to lead the singing of the community, utilizing the best sacred music available for and suitable to men’s voices. This, in turn, has formed generations of priests with a love of the sacred Liturgy and sacred music, setting standards which pastors have hoped to emulate in their parishes. The Good News of Jesus Christ is preached from the choir stalls as well as from the ambo, and many who are inhibited from receiving the Word in a sermon may receive it, unexpectedly, in the text of a chant, a hymn, or a motet.

Performance of the rich treasury of sacred music is not limited to the walls of a church or seminary chapel. Included in this recording are some of the hymns and chants which helped to transform a stadium and a concert hall into sacred places where God was glorified in the midst of the secular: Pope Paul VI’s Mass for Peace held at Yankee Stadium in October of 1965 and Exsultet! An Easter Concert of Sacred Music, celebrating the centennial of St. Joseph’s Seminary, held at the Performing Arts Center, State University of New York, Purchase, in April of 1997.

Ninety thousand people held tickets to The Papal Mass for Peace in Yankee Stadium, celebrated on the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, October 4th, 1965. This historic mass by Pope Paul VI, the first Pontiff ever to visit the United States, was organized by the Archdiocese of New York in conjunction with the Papal visit to the United Nations. Msgr. Richard B. Curtin, director of the Commission on Church Music for the Archdiocese, conducted the choir comprised of 225 male voices from the nine major seminaries in the New York metropolitan area. Principal organist, John Grady, director of music at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, was assisted by Frank Campbell-Watson.

As he made his way to the altar amidst tumultuous cries and cheers, the Holy Father turned to the prie-dieu and knelt. Suddenly, a hush fell over the crowd. In the serenity of that moment, as the pontiff knelt in private prayer before the altar in Yankee Stadium, Msgr. Curtin led the choir, organ and instrumentalists in the Prayer of St. Francis, arranged for the occasion by composer Ralph Hunter, and beautifully captured on this recording.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. . . . the prayer of the saint segued into the Pope’s celebration of a Votive Mass for Peace. During his homily the Holy Father spoke of the importance of his visit: "This is the day which we have desired for centuries! The day which, for the first time, sees the Pope setting foot on this young and glorious continent!" Msgr. Curtin remarked in a published account of the Papal Mass that "the fervor of the congregation’s singing was impressive and its prayerfulness unmistakable." As the Holy Father departed the mass, he was sung on his way with the acclamatory hymn, Christus Vincit: Christ conquers, Christ reigns, Christ rules! New York Times reporter William Farrell wrote:

As he neared the car, thousands of voices erupted in unrestrained praise for the waving, smiling Pontiff, who shook hands with people in aisle seats. As the mass ended and the Pope left, the sports arena resounded to the chant, ‘Long live the Pope! Long live the Pope!’

Thirty-two years later, on the occasion of the 100th Anniversary of St. Joseph’s Seminary, the Seminary Choir, in concert with the Festival Choir of men and women, chosen soloists, organ and orchestra, performed a musical celebration on April 6, 1997, entitled: Exultet! An Easter Concert of Sacred Music. In the concert hall of the Performing Arts Center of S.U.N.Y., Purchase, Fr. Anthony D. Sorgie, director of music and academic dean, conducted musical selections organized around the text of the Exultet, or Paschal Proclamation—a musical and liturgical highlight of the Easter Vigil, celebrated in every Roman Catholic parish. The necessity of moving the concert to an off-campus venue was explained by former rector, Bishop Edwin F. O’Brien: "The venerable walls of our beloved seminary are unable to contain the numbers who will enjoy Exultet!"

Over 3,000 supporters of the seminary attended the concert performed by the ninety-six members of the Festival Choir, representing more than thirty-five parishes of the archdiocese, as well as the Seminary Choir and the Schola Cantorum. From this musical feast, three selections have been included in this recording: Salvation is Created, by the Russian composer Pavel Tschesnokov; the Hallelujah from Ludwig van Beethoven’s oratorio Christ on the Mount of Olives, and This is the Night, by contemporary composer Jeffrey Schneider.

Bridging almost forty years of choral singing, the music recorded here gives continued evidence of the message written many hundreds of years ago by the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews: "Jesus Christ is the same—yesterday, today, and forever!" The reverence and beauty demonstrated in the singing of the different choirs is eloquent testimony to the musical heritage of the Catholic Church and its faithful handing-on of the teaching so eloquently proclaimed by Pope John Paul II when he visited Dunwoodie on October 6, 1995:

If you are to become priests, it will be for the purpose–above all other purposes–of proclaiming the Word of God and feeding God’s people with the Body and Blood of Christ.... If there is one challenge facing the Church and her priests today, it is the challenge of transmitting the Christian message whole and entire, without letting it be emptied of its substance. The Gospel cannot be reduced to mere human wisdom. Salvation lies not in clever human words or schemes, but in the cross and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Christian message, transmitted here in song, voice and instrument – is a powerful message for the ears and hearts of those who will listen. - J. Michael Thompson


A Treasury of Sacred Music, Volume II

Tracks 1 – 12 performed by the St. Joseph’s Seminary Choir and the Papal Mass Choir (1963-1965) under the direction of Msgr. Richard B. Curtin.

Ecce Panis Angelorum
"Behold the bread of Angels"

Attributed to St. Thomas Aquinas, this beloved text is taken from Lauda Sion Salvatorem (O Zion, praise thy Saviour), the Sequence for the Solemnity of Corpus Christi. The composer of the musical setting is unknown.

Ave Verum Corpus
"Hail true body born of the Virgin Mary"

This hymn by an anonymous medieval author honors the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament – identifying the Sacrament with the Body born of the Virgin Mary, Who suffered and died for our salvation. The music is by the German composer Scheuren.

O Salutaris Hostia
"O Saving Victim, opening wide the gate of heaven to all below."

The last two stanzas of St. Thomas Aquinas’ hymn for Lauds (Morning Prayer) of Corpus Christi, Verbum supernum prodiens, (The heavenly Word proceeding forth), written at the request of Pope Urban IV, who established the Feast in 1264, form the text of this hymn sung by Roman Catholics at the beginning of the Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. The setting is by the German composer Haller.

Tantum Ergo
"In face of so great a mystery, therefore, let us bow down and worship."

Taken from the last two verses of St. Thomas Aquinas’ hymn for Vespers (Evening Prayer) of Corpus Christi, Pange lingua gloriosi (Sing, o my tongue, and praise the mystery of the glorious body), this hymn is sung immediately proceeding the blessing of the people with the Blessed Sacrament at Benediction. The musical setting is by the German composer Johann Kasper Aiblinger (1779-1867).

O Sacrum Convivium
"O Sacred Banquet in which Christ is received"

Attributed to St. Thomas Aquinas, the Magnificat Antiphon for Second Vespers of Corpus Christi is known as a summary of the Church’s teaching about the Sacrament of the Altar—the Sacred Banquet—"in which Christ is received, the memory of His Passion renewed, the soul is filled with grace and a pledge of future glory is bestowed. Allelulia!" The musical setting is by the Italian composer, Ludovico Viadana (1560-1627).

Ave Maria
"Hail Mary, full of grace"

Set to Mode I of the corpus of Gregorian chant, this prayer, addressed to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and familiar to every Roman Catholic, consists of the angel’s greeting of Mary (Luke 1:29), followed by the invocation, "Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen."

Vere Languores
"True Weariness"

The text of this responsory from the Office of Tenebrae for Good Friday is taken from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah. The setting is by the Italian composer Antonio Lotti (d. 1740) who wrote in a late Renaissance style despite the age in which he lived.

Adoramus Te
"We adore you"

"We adore You, O Christ, and we bless you, because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world"— These familiar words from the service of the Stations of the Cross form the text of this work by the Renaissance composer Vincenzo Ruffo (1508-1587).

Tibi Laus
"Praise to you"

From the office of Vespers for the Most Holy Trinity, this text is sung to a setting by the Flemish composer Orlandus Lassus (1532-1594), who is, along with Palestrina and Vittoria, one of the most important composers of the 16th century.

Veni Creator Spiritus
"Come, Creator Spirit"

This ancient hymn celebrating the descent of the Holy Spirit on the infant Church, is sung at Terce (Daytime Prayer) and Vespers (Evening Prayer) on Pentecost, and is presented here in an arrangement that juxtaposes Gregorian chant with a setting by the early twentieth century German-American composer Singenberger.

The Prayer of Saint Francis
"Lord, make me an instrument of your peace"

At the request of Msgr. Curtin, composer Ralph Hunter rearranged this piece originally written for female voices, to suit the vocal talents of the choir of male seminarians who sang for the historic Papal Mass in Yankee Stadium on October 4, 1965. As the choir sang this prayer of the saint long venerated by Pope Paul VI, the pontiff donned his priestly vestments in preparation for the votive Mass for peace which embodied the recent liturgical changes made by the Second Vatican Council.

Christus Vincit
"Christ conquers"

Chosen as the recessional hymn for the Papal Mass, this series of thousand-year-old sung acclamations from the Gallican church alternates the refrain "Christ conquers, Christ reigns, Christ rules!" with invocations for the Pope and the Bishop. Sung in Latin, the setting was arranged by Frank Campbell-Watson.

Tracks 13-22 performed by the St. Joseph’s Seminary Choirs (1991-1997) under the direction of Rev. Anthony D. Sorgie.

"Lord, have mercy"

English court composer William Byrd (1543-1623), while secretly a Catholic, produced works for the Protestant services of the Church of England. This Kyrie is from his Catholic repertoire, heard only after his death. The Kyrie occupies a unique place in church music in that it is only part of the traditional Roman Mass sung in Greek. As the first movement in Byrd’s "Mass for Five Voices" it sets the musical motifs for the entire composition.

O Sacrum Convivium
"O Sacred Banquet in which Christ is received"

Italian composer Roberto Remondi provides the setting for the St. Thomas Aquinas’ Magnificat antiphon whose text is also heard on track number 5.

Jesu Rex Admirabilis
"O Jesus, King most wonderful!"

Part of the hymn Jesu, Dulcis Memoria (Jesus, Sweet Memory), attributed to St. Bernard (1090-1153), this text was sung on the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus which (prior to the Second Vatican Council) fell on the Sunday between the Circumcision and Epiphany. Although the feast was removed from the liturgical calendar, a votive Mass to the Holy Name of Jesus is permitted. The musical setting alternates between verses in Gregorian chant and a choral arrangement by Italian Renaissance choral composer Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525-1594).

Ave Verum Corpus
"Hail true body born of the Virgin Mary"

Another interpretation of the text heard in track number 2, this hymn to the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist was arranged by the Romantic English composer Edward Elgar (1857-1934).

In Monte Oliveti
"On the Mount of Olives Christ our Lord prayed to the Father"

German composer Anton Bruckner (1824-1896) provides the setting for the text of the first Responsory from the Office of Tenebrae sung on Holy Thursday and based on passages from the Gospels.

The Angel Cried
"The angel cried to the Lady full of grace"

Russian composer Mily Alexeyevich Balakirev (1837-1910) provides the musical setting for this text— the refrain and the Ninth Ode of the Paschal Canon of St. John of Damascus —which forms part of the Paschal Matins sung at midnight of Easter in the Byzantine Church.

Sicut Cervus
"As the deer longs for running streams, so my soul is thirsting for You, my God" Ps:41(42)

Palestrina’s motet is based on the text that was sung in the pre-Vatican II Roman Rite at the Easter Vigil as the procession went from the front of the church to the Baptismal Font.

Salvation is Created
"Salvation is created for the people of all the nations"

The ability to join traditional orthodox liturgical forms with modern musical style is a marked characteristic of the work of Russian composer Pavel Tschesnokov (1877-1921) and is well demonstrated in this four-part a cappella composition.

This is the Night
"This is the night when Jesus broke the chains of death"

This is premier recording of contemporary American composer Jeffrey Schneider’s (b. 1959) poetic hymn based on the text of Exultet (the Easter Proclamation), which is sung by a priest or deacon at the Easter Vigil.

"Praise the Lord"

The chorus from Ludwig van Beethoven’s (1770-1827) monumental oratorio "Christ on the Mount of Olives", based on the Hebrew word for "Praise the Lord", brings to a joyous conclusion this latest musical offering of praise from the choirs of St. Joseph’s Seminary.

Available in two volumes, which may be ordered together at a special price [$24.95 (list: $34)]. Please indicate your preference when ordering. If ordering both volumes, the price will be adjusted upon receipt of your order but will not be reflected on your program-generated receipt.

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