Saturday, 20 December 2008

Juventutem - The CD!

First, a big thank you to Chris who has sent me my first blogging present, a two CD set of the music from Juventutem!

And it is definitely something you will want to acquire too, perfect for Chrissie presents for fellow traddies, anyone who attended Juventutem as a souvenir, or actually, anyone who likes good music!

Basically, it provides a selection of the music - from three Pontifical Masses and Solemn Vespers - from Sydney's traditional World Youth Day Masses.

I was impressed by the music at the time - but listening to it again, this is amazing stuff. The CDs provide a very nice mixture of chant, polyphony, hymns and organ music actually sung in the context it was meant to be heard, a real live liturgical service, not a concert!

The sound quality of the recording is generally excellent - because it is live, there are a few audience noises in various places, but they've done a good job in eliminating most of this, and it really doesn't detract from the recording, just reminding anyone who was there of the wonderful atmosphere.

And hearing the rather nice interpretations of the chant and polyphony really makes me wish once again that I'd gotten my act together and joined the choir for more than the one mass I did actually sing in! Mind you listening then and now is a real pleasure that more than makes up for that.

In fact the choir (made up from people from across Australia and around the world, and conducted mostly by Scott Turkington, with Hugh Henry for the Palestrina Missa Brevis) seems to me to do a really excellent job on some classics of the chant and polyphonic repertoire.

If you are in Australia, you can get hold of the set from the Central Catholic Bookshop (Tel: 03 9639 0844) in Melbourne. I gather they haven't worked out how to handle overseas distribution yet, but I'm sure that will come shortly!

This is essentially a cost recovery exercize at the moment - but any surplus will be distributed to youth groups in the main traditional communities across Australia, so a worthwhile cause at least potentially!

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