On Sunday, September 29, a new statue of St. Michael will be dedicated at the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Queen of the Universe. Discovering that there would be an additional procession of banners, music director Bill Picher asked if I would make a short fanfare arrangement of the tune “National Hymn’ to provide music for the extra procession. With only a few days to complete the project, I got to work as quick as I could. Until I get a live performance recording, here is the audio file generated by the Finale music notation program.
Written by request for the choral concert given on May 22, 2011 by William Picher and the Basilica Choir with friends. The choral group for the day contained 16 singers, and Bill was looking for a 16-voice piece. I sat with this request for quite a while before finally settling on this text and the general style of the piece. Most of the piece is written for 8-part choir, but the middle section is a 16-part fugue. The recording below was made at the dress rehearsal prior to the concert.
Psalm 96: 1-3
Cantate Domino canticum novum:
Cantate Domino omnis terra.
Cantate Domino, benedicite nomini eius:
Adnuntiate diem de die salutare eius.
Purchase of the PDF download includes permission to reprint copies as necessary for performance.
This recording by the Basilica Choir and William Picher includes my composition Salve Regina. The piece was written specifically for them, and I was delighted that they chose to include it on their recording.
The CD is available for sale for $15 plus shipping and handling. It is also available at iTunes for immediate download here. This is the complete track list:
Haec Dies (William Byrd)
O Bone Jesu (Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina)
Verbum Caro Factus Est (Hans Leo Hassler)
Alma Redemptoris Mater (Palestrina)
Regina Caeli Laetare (Antonio Lotti)
Riu, Riu, Chiu (Anon. Spanish)
Exsultate Deo (Palestrina)
I See His Blood Upon the Rose (Michael Bedford)
At the Cross Her Station Keeping (13th cent., arr. Richard Proulx)
Were You There? (Spiritual, arr. Harry T. Burleigh)
Gabriel’s Message (Basque Carol, arr. Jonathan Rathbone)
One of the difficulties in using a historical musical setting of the Latin Mass in the Novus Ordo is the lack of Memorial Acclamation and Amen. With only two syllables, it’s usually pretty easy to do some text replacement and derive an Amen from material in other movements. It may even be possible to simply use the amen found at the end of the Gloria or Credo as a stand alone Eucharistic acclamation. The Memorial Acclamation, regardless of the text option chosen, proves a much tougher challenge.
For the Choral Mass on February 22, 2013, at the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Queen of the Universe, Dr. William Picher gave me the task of creating something for him to use alongside Palestrina’s Missa Papae Marcelli. While I initially wrote something for the SATTBB voicing that Palestrina uses, I forgot that this was to be a Latin Mass and set the English response “Save Us, Savior of the World.” Mea culpa. As six contrapuntal voices seemed a bit of a stretch for me in the limited time I had to prepare the piece, when I started over again with the equivalent Latin text, I opted for the more traditional (and perhaps more useful) SATB voicing.
I hope to have a recording of live singers performing the piece after February 22. In the meantime, the music notation program Finale has provided this rendering:
Salvator mundi, salva nos, qui per crucem et resurrectionem tuam liberasti nos.
Lord, by your cross and resurrection you have set us free. You are the Savior of the world.
Regina caeli laetare, Alleluia,
Quia quem meruisti portare. Alleluia,
Resurrexit sicut dixit, Alleluia.
Ora pro nobis Deum. Alleluia.
Intended for use during the Easter Season, this is the second Marian antiphon I set for SSAATTBB choir. The traditional chant melody is cast in a modern tonal language. A piano reduction of the SSAATTBB piece provided in the score for rehearsals. The audio below was generated by the Finale music notation program.
There are four seasonal antiphons to the Blessed Virgin Mary used in the Catholic Church. When I was given the opportunity to write a new piece for the choir of the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Queen of the Universe, these antiphon texts and chants seemed ideal material to work with. I started with the most well-known Salve Regina. I was so pleased with how it turned out that I decided to write settings for all four of the Marian Antiphons. Check them out on the pages below:
Written for Bill Picher and the professional choir of the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Queen of the Universe in Orlando, FL, this setting of Salve Regina presents the traditional chant melody in a modern tonal language. While intended to be performed a cappella, there is a reduction of the SSAATTBB piece provided in the score for rehearsals. As the most popular and well-known Marian antiphon, this is the first of a set of four Marian antiphons that I composed.
The Basilica Choir included the piece on its most recent album “A Cappella Magic” which is available here or as a download from iTunes! You can now also hear the piece on Spotify.