Friday, December 24, 2010

O Sanctissima - and the damage wrought by the 60s generation

O Sanctissima, O Piissima
Dulcis Virgo Maria
Mater amata, In te temerata
Ora, Ora Pro Nobis
Tu solatium et refugium
Virgo Mater Maria
Quidquid optamus per te speramus
Ora, ora pro nobis

A 16 yo Amazon reviewer speaks for many--and says it all:

5.0 out of 5 stars Aaaaaah... that's better! ;-), September 30, 2002
By Teresa Alantua, 16 (Silicon Valley, California) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Catholic Latin Classics (Audio CD)

Not that they didn't perhaps have good intentions, but I often feel as though those '60's generation Catholics quietly disposed of the rich and all-embracing ("catholic"!) Faith that was to be my birthright, and, beaming, set a big ol' mess of steaming pottage in front of me instead. They told me how lucky I was not to have grown up being forced to listen to Latin, be taught by real live nuns, or shock my poor tender eyes on statues or ornate high altars. Instead, I would have the privilege of attending guitar-and-maraca Masses, where the priest warbled the words of consecration in a sort of blues tune, and-... Ai! Is this really about the God "who gives joy to my youth"? Then why did they, ahem, cut that line? Trying to reconcile all this relentlessly chirpy weirdness with the Holy And Awesome Sacrifice that IS going on - it always deals me Kafka-esque trauma and a headache.

My fellow reviewer from Connecticut, you are so lucky... I can attend the Old Latin Mass only once a month. When I get out of college, I want to move somewhere where I can go every day and live a NORMAL Catholic life! Man, I must be the weirdest teenager in the Valley... ::sighs:: Eek! It's hard not to start using this thing as a message board...

Anyway, keep the Music alive in your hearts with this CD until we can bring it back to the sanctuaries! The day will come... ::smiles tearfully::

Ostende nobis, Domine, misericordiam tuam.

And another review:

5.0 out of 5 stars Burn the "Glory and Praise" hymnal!, July 21, 2003
By Darren Gauthier (Baton Rouge, LA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Catholic Latin Classics (Audio CD)

For those who have had enough of folk masses, youth masses, and "On Eagle's Wings" - as I have, since about 1988 - this is the antidote. I resent the 1960's generation who felt the need to throw out 1500 years of beautiful sacred music and replace it with the Paul Simon-like strains of "Here I Am Lord." When I hear this music in Latin, all I can say is "DEO GRATIAS!"

And--I can't resist--one more:

5.0 out of 5 stars Do you love the Latin Mass?, April 4, 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Catholic Latin Classics (Audio CD)
If you prefer the Tridentine rite (the Old Latin Mass) then this recording is for you. It's such a contrast from the banal claptrap we get nowadays (Dan Schutte, St. Louis Jesuits, et al., with their On Eagles Wings, Be Not Afraid, Glory to God, etc.) It's also not the least bit saccharine or overdone as is often the case with recordings of popular Catholic hymns and songs. The recording is tasteful and devotional, almost Anglo-Catholic in its execution, if you know what I mean. Nothing smacking of electric votive candles or overly sentimental renditions of To Jesus' Heart All Burning (not that that doesn't have its place!).

For the most part the arrangements are straightforward. My one regret is that the second verse of Tantum Ergo is a bit over arranged to the point where the melody is lost. I would have preferred if they had recorded Tantum Ergo with the first verse a capella (as they did) with an organ coming in for the second verse all the while swelling towards a resounding crescendo. That's the way it's done at the Benediction service I go to and that's the way I prefer it.

But don't let that stop you from buying it. The Regina Caeli Laetare is especially well done as is the Ecce Sacerdos Magnus, the latter bringing to mind images of the next papal Coronation (and yes, let's pray that it is a Coronation this time: triple tiara, crozier, etc.)

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