Feb 15, 2012

Saint Vincent Camerata Scholars

Online Edition:
February 2012
Vol. XVII, No. 10

A Blessed Day has Dawned

A Blessed Day Has Dawned is the inaugural recording by the Saint Vincent Camerata Scholars under the direction of Father Stephen Concordia, OSB. The CD features the Mass setting of Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525-1594) entitled “Missa: Dies Sanctificatus”, itself based on his motet of the same name.

As an example of the popular Renaissance form of “imitation Mass”, the musical themes of the motet are recycled throughout the various parts of the Mass: Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Agnus Dei. The artistic aims of unity and economy of musical means are thus put at the service of the liturgical prayer, creating a composition of great variety of musical forms all held together by the frequent allusions to the motet themes throughout the Mass.

In addition to the Palestrina motets, the Mass features Gregorian chant. “We wanted to fill in the other Mass parts in Gregorian chant: the Introit (entrance), the Alleluia, the Gospel of the day, and the Communion antiphon. This evokes what a Renaissance Mass might have sounded like, with some parts sung in polyphony, and others chanted”, said Father Concordia.

The CD also features Laudes Spirituali, sacred songs of the Italian Renaissance from Rome and Florence.

The Saint Vincent Camerata Scholars formed in the summer of 2011, and A Blessed Day Has Dawned is their first recording. The Scholars include both veteran members of the Camerata and newer members, particularly students of Saint Vincent College. The group is dedicated to the study and performance of a cappella sacred music in liturgies and in concerts, especially the works of the Renaissance and contemporary periods.

Through their performances, educational outreach, and the sponsoring of choral scholarships at Saint Vincent College, the Camerata Scholars intend to foster a broader and more profound appreciation of the heritage of Catholic sacred music.

Father Concordia, director of the Camerata and the Camerata Scholars, is assistant professor of music at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. He is also choirmaster of Saint Vincent Archabbey and the director of the Saint Vincent Schola Gregoriana. He holds degrees from the New England Conservatory of Music, Boston, and diplomas in organ and Gregorian chant from the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music, Rome.

Saint Vincent Archabbey was founded in 1846 by Boniface Wimmer, OSB, a monk from Metten Abbey in Bavaria, and is the oldest Benedictine monastery in the United States. The monks of Saint Vincent operate and teach at Saint Vincent College, a four-year liberal arts college also founded in 1846, and Saint Vincent Seminary. They also provide pastoral care for Catholics in the dioceses of Baltimore, Greensburg, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, Altoona-Johnstown, and Richmond. The archabbot of Saint Vincent is the Right Reverend Douglas R. Nowicki, OSB.

For 165 years the Benedictine monks of Saint Vincent have worked to exemplify and to carry on this living tradition.

Jade Music is noted for producing quality classical and spiritual music recordings for more than 20 years — perhaps best known for its recording of the choir of the Abbey of Santo Domingo de Silos, Spain. Jade Music is distributed by ADA/Warner Music Group.

For information on A Blessed Day Has Dawned contact Stefan Karrer – Ph. 818-849-3349; or e-mail [email protected]. – hhh

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The Editors