The Liturgical Looking Glass

A new programme on Radio Maria England presented by Nick Swarbrick and Tim Hutchinson – broadcast on Fridays at 9am and 8.30pm. Also available as a podcast.

Last week (19th May) on the Liturgical Looking Glass

Anna and Nick began with Jaques Berthier’s Laudate Dominum, which is based on a popular song from Continental Europe, Les Folies d’Espagne. Here is a large Taize group in Rotterdam singing it: 

And here is the great viol player Jordi Savall playing it very much in the style current when the song was at its height:

And the last version we heard was Manuel Barrueco playing Fernando Sor’s variations


We heard chant Introit for 7th Sunday in Eastertide (3’11”) sung solo as part of the Graduale project, and the Communion set in the Solesmes Graduale (but not in the Missal) , sung in the Dominican way: 

And linked to these prayers in John’s Gospel and to today’s theme, here is Matthew Martin’s setting of Jesus’ prayer for the unity of the Church, Ut Unum Sint sung by the choir of New College Oxford

Because Pentecost is fast approaching, we then heard John Rutter’s setting of Come Down O Love Divine sung by the Cambridge Singers   With Elin Manhan Thomas as soloist:, a glorious challenging piece and unlike both the familiar hymn and Rutter’s often softer style. 

And in a change to our now-customary music around the Golden Sequence, Anna and Nick read this translation, with the suggestion that people mighty ponder it and savour it over the coming days: 

Come, Holy Spirit, come!

And from your celestial home

Shed a ray of light divine!

Come, Father of the poor!
Come, source of all our store!
Come, within our bosoms shine.

You, of comforters the best;
You, the soul’s most welcome guest;
Sweet refreshment here below;

In our labor, rest most sweet;
Grateful coolness in the heat;
Solace in the midst of woe.

O most blessed Light divine,
May that light within us shine
And our inmost being fill!

Where you are not, we have naught,
Nothing good in deed or thought,
Nothing free from taint and ill.

Heal our wounds, our strength renew;
On our dryness pour your dew;
Wash the stains of guilt away:

Bend the stubborn heart and will;
Melt the frozen, warm the chill;
Guide the steps that go astray.

On the faithful, who adore
And confess you, evermore
In your sevenfold gift descend;

Give them virtue’s sure reward;
Give them your salvation, Lord;
Give them joys that never end.

Amen. Alleluia

We had a last piece of Ascensiontide music: Alleluia Sing to Jesus sung by Saint Michael’s Singers.

We also took note of St Godric of Finchale, the first English hymn-writer whose music is still with us, and whose feast on 21st is eclipsed by the Sunday: and then we ended with Marco Frisina’s almost operatic Regina Caeli:

The podcast for this week’s episode can be found here:

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