This week's stories | Home Page
Issue Date:  December 16, 2005

Sacred music

Love Never Ends: Sacred Sounds: “Easy listening” has always seemed a pejorative term to me for elevator music and the overorchestrated corny favorites of an earlier generation, but Elisabeth von Trapp’s CD “Love Never Ends” has given me a new appreciation of what “easy listening” can sometimes mean. A descendant of the von Trapp family of “The Sound of Music” fame, Elisabeth von Trapp has a lovely voice; her agreeably eclectic collection of hymns, chants, psalms and spirituals ranges from Mozart’s “Ave Verum Corpus” to Hildegard of Bingen’s “O Frondens Virga” to the plaintive yet rousing “Rivers of Babylon” and the familiar hymn “Be Not Afraid.” Always pleasing to listen to, the CD has become a favorite, one of the recordings I turn to regularly while driving.

* * *

The Chants of Christmas: In this CD, the Gloriae Dei Cantores Schola presents the Gregorian chant Masses of Christmas. There are four such Masses to be sung Christmas Day, each with its own style and sound. The Missam in Vigilia, celebrated before the Night Office; the Missam in Nocte, which occurs at the hour when tradition has it that Jesus was born; the joyful Missam in Aurora, celebrated at dawn; and the daytime Missam in Die. These four solemn Masses are a far cry from more familiar Christmas music; they offer a grave and reverent addition to happy-all-the-time seasonal fare, an alternative to turn to when you’re longing for something more soulful and demanding than “White Christmas.” On the same CD put out by Paraclete Press are antiphons to the Blessed Virgin Mary, appealingly ethereal.

-- Margot Patterson

National Catholic Reporter, December 16, 2005

This Week's Stories | Home Page | Top of Page
Copyright  © The National Catholic Reporter Publishing  Company, 115 E. Armour Blvd., Kansas City, MO   64111
All rights reserved.
TEL:  816-531-0538     FAX:  1-816-968-2280   Send comments about this Web site to: