Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Gaudy Baubles of Sacramentalism

The Lead reports this story of how Peter Phillips, director of the choral group, the Tallis Scholars, is taking on the anti-sacramental excesses of the Jensen clan in Australia. It's worth a read.

Of particular note was this part of an interview with Phillips:
PETER PHILLIPS: Well I represent the point of view I think that God is beautiful, and can be approached - best approached - by mortal men through beauty. Any sort of beauty; I mean it could be a beautiful building, or the incense that the Catholics have. But I represent music, and my experience is that good music takes people nearer to God than anything else, and quicker. It happens just like that, you feel him, right there.

Take the Allegri 'Miserere' for example.

STEPHEN CRITTENDEN: That many people will know.

PETER PHILLIPS: Which I hope they do. The moment that piece is sung, the first time I heard it which must now be 40 years ago in the original King's recording, I couldn't believe what I was hearing, and it wasn't that it's fantastic music exactly, it's an atmosphere that's created by those lines and those harmonies and the building that it's sung in, that produces its effect.

Here is the Allegri 'Miserere'in all its glory:

[Update: Of course Mad Priest has the story as well, with the usual scintillating commentary, but The Lead's got the music].

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