Sunday, February 10, 2008

Music for Lent

I have been browsing iTunes looking for choral and sacred music to listen to during Lent. Here are my downloads so far (linked to Amazon so that you don't have to have iTunes to hear samples) ...

(1) Allegri's Miserere, sung by the choir of Trinity College, Cambridge. This famous setting of the penitential Psalm 51 ("Have mercy on me, O God, in your kindness, in your compassion blot out my offence ...") has to be the ultimate Lenten music.

(2) Nunc Dimittis by Geoffrey Burgon, from the same album as the Miserere. This was originally written as part of the soundtrack for a TV series (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy), but don't let that put you off. The music is utterly haunting. The words are the Canticle of Simeon, part of the Night Prayer of the Divine Office.

(3) Litany to the Holy Spirit by Peter Hurford, sung by Emily Gray, a former choirgirl of the year. Another haunting modern piece, with the solo voice balanced by an organ accompaniment. The words are the first few verses of a by the 17th century poet Robert Herrick ...

IN the hour of my distress,
When temptations me oppress,
And when I my sins confess,
Sweet Spirit, comfort me!
If I had a bigger budget for music I would have downloaded the entire CD, Passiontide by Emily Gray and the Manchester Cathedral Choir.

(4) Totus Tuus by Henryk Gorecki, from Agnus Dei: Music for Inner Harmony by the Choir of New College, Oxford (Track 8). This hymn to Our Lady was written by the Polish Catholic composer for a visit of Pope John Paul II to Poland. From a description I found at ...

Totus Tuus (Totally Yours) was a phrase used by Pope Jean-Paul to describe his absolute devotion to the Virgin Mary. Totus Tuus, a hymn to the Virgin Mary, was composed in 1987 by Henryk Gorecki in honor of Pope John Paul II's third visit to his homeland of Poland. The choral text is taken from a poem written by Maria Boguslawska. The music is based on chants of the Polish Catholic Church and reflects Gorecki's deep love for the Holy Father; and for his country and its musical traditions.



Love2Learn Mom said...

Great collection - thanks for putting that together! We sang the Miserere in college and I find it SO beautiful and haunting!

Meredith said...

Lovely, thank you for these links :)