Thursday, April 10, 2008

New York's papal events feature Pope's German classical favorites

The Journal News' Georgette Gouveia profiles Jennifer Pascual, St. Patrick cathedral's music director and supervisor of music for the papal visit in New York city. The article begins with a description of what is an unfortunately all too common sight at contemporary Catholic parishes:

It's got to be the bane of any church organist-music director's existence - the faithful beating a hasty retreat to the parking lot before the final hymn. But Jennifer Pascual - who has a devilish sense of humor for one who works in sacred music - isn't worried about that happening when she conducts the music for Masses at St. Patrick's Cathedral and Yankee Stadium on April 19 and 20, respectively. Both services are, after all, being held in honor of Pope Benedict XVI.

"There'll be no cutting out after Communion," she says. . . .

The musical program devised by Pascal includes a good number of the Holy Father's favorite classical composers:
In selecting the music for the pope's visit, Pascual worked closely with her current boss, Egan.

"Because this is a papal visit, and the pope is from Germany, we wanted to target German-speaking composers," she says. "At the same time, we've tried to make it people-friendly."

The result is a mix of classical and contemporary favorites as well as lesser-known German works. At the cathedral, the faithful will recognize Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's poignant "Ave Verum" - the last work he wrote - and that rousing closer "Holy God, We Praise Thy Name" ("Grosser Gott, wir loben Dich"). But they will also hear selections from Josef Rheinberger's "Mass in C major." The Yankee Stadium Mass features Charles Gounod's "Hymnus Pontificius," the Vatican anthem; the paschal hymn "Jesus Is Risen," sung in English and Spanish; "How Lovely Is Thy Dwelling Place," from Johannes Brahms' "Ein deutsches Requiem"; and selections from Ludwig van Beethoven's "Symphony No. 9 in D minor," including the stirring finale that inspired the hymn "Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee," which will also close the liturgy.

St. Joseph's of Yorkville has the Johann Sebastian Bach motet "Lobet den Herrn, alle Heiden," along with the crowd-pleasing "Now Thank We All Our God" ("Nun danket alle Gott").

For the prayer meeting with disabled youths at St. Joseph's Seminary, the Cathedral of St. Patrick Young Singers will perform Fran├žois Couperin's motet "Christo resurgenti" as well as "Take Lord, Receive," which the New York Archdiocesan Deaf Choir will sign. The outdoor rally will have a contemporary flavor with such post-Vatican II staples as "City of God" and "One Bread, One Body," along with Kelly Clarkson's appearance.

"A mostly wonderful list", says Jeffrey Tucker @ The New Liturgical Movement, reviewing the complete roster of the music being performed at the various events.

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