fredag 17 maj 2013

I was glad - no alternative to Parry?

I have been complaining lately about the scarcity of Catholic music in the Catholic church locally. I was accused of being small minded and that anyway there was no alternative.

Parry's "I was glad" is to be sung soon at a forthcoming event. This was written for the Coronation of King George V in 1911. It radiates British imperialist bombast in the highest degree. There is a softer setting by Purcell but that was written for the Coronation of King William III in 1695, so it too is hardly suitable for a Catholic liturgy.

"I was glad" is the psalm Laetatus sum. A search on YouTube returned three thousand hits, including lovely settings by Haydn, Monteverdi, Vivaldi, Zelenka, Gorczycki, Michael Haydn, Alessandro Scarlatti, Willaert, to name just a few of the better known composers. There is also, of course, a Gregorian chant setting of the psalm.

No alternative to the Parry? Hardly. But why exactly are we ignoring the treasure in our attic? Have we forgotten it is there?

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