Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Music of the Day Peace, all. I had wanted to include an old postconciliar chestnut in this series, but keep forgetting to put it in. No parish I've ever been in has done this song. I think it's buried and forgotten in the dim recesses of the early 70's, but I have always had a fondness for John Foley's "Rise Up Jerusalem." It was one of those "live" performances on the endless Neither Silver Nor Gold collection. Honestly, "Live at Liturgy" works for me for the St Louis Jesuits and Taize. The latter especially can be great in the liturgical setting, but I find the studio recordings of Berthier's liturgical music a bit tedious. Back to "Rise Up." In college, my last director wanted to do the other one by Schoenbachler. My post-college home parish did just about every other song in the Jesuits' oeuvre, but not this one. I can't remember the last parish I was in that had Glory and Praise. It might have been 15 years ago. And the song is not without problems, mind you. Looking over the sheet music for it today, I find the language of "thy" and "thee" a bit pretentious or affected. Foley has probably done a better job of harmonization in the past 33 years. But it's one of those songs that has just stuck with me. Clearly, some liturgical songs are the product not only of a composer's imagination, but also of a community praying. A liturgical composer needs the latter, and I have some sense that this song has it.

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