Monday, April 02, 2012

Palm Sunday and sung Passion, from Trinity Wall Street

This starts with the Procession coming into the church - certainly a good public witness in Manhattan. (Perhaps they begin at St. Paul's Chapel? Not sure.)

And , with procession music and a sung Passion they've composed themselves, it looks like. It's really worth seeing, even though I personally prefer the simple plainchant version of the passion we sang at St. Mary's (the congregation sings the part of Jesus, so we learn to sing that tone, and now I know all the various tones as well). In this video, the Passion narrative is a kind of alternatim, with the choir singing the composed part, and (I think) the whole congregation singing verses, in refrain, of "Ah, Holy Jesus." Here's what the blurb at the site says:

The traditional scripture text from the Gospel of Mark will be used in the reading of the Passion, which will be chanted in an improvisational style by members of the Trinity Choir, with participation by the congregation in a sung refrain.

The Passion starts at around 17:00, right after the singing of another composed version of Christus Factus Est (called here "A song of Christ's humility"). Very interesting, really.

TWS is doing some really interesting things in terms of music these days. For instance, a few years ago they sang a composed (and choral!) version of the Exsultet at Easter Vigil. Again, I prefer the simpler stuff, just because the tunes stick in my head and become part of my psychic world; composed stuff is often too difficult to do this with - but it is dramatic and can be very lovely. It seems to veer off into a kind of interesting "Orthodox chant" style, which I do really like. This passion is very long, because they start it from the story of the woman anointing Jesus' feet; a nice touch, I think. Here's the service bulletin, in PDF.

TWS has some priests with really excellent singing voices!

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