Ash Wednesday (2011)

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Entrance Lord Jesus, think on me
Psalm Ps 50 (Stephen Dean)
Gospel Acclamation Praise to you, O Christ (James Walsh)
Imposition of Ashes Lord, Cleanse my heart (Psallite)
Sanctus, Acclamation, Amen Mass XVII & Missal tones
Agnus Dei Mass XVII
Communion Miserere Mei (Antonio Lotti, c. 1667-1740)
Recessional Our Father, we have wandered

We kept to the same musical choices as last year, with the exception of the Lotti. Last year we sang the opening verse, and since then we've tackled the whole piece. Altogether it was on the long side for the ritual moment of the Communion procession, so we sang a truncated version. The piece is episodic in character - a through-composed setting with different music for every verse, and a regular alternating pattern of atmospheric counterpoint and declamatory block chords. It wasn’t easy, though, to find a place to stop that didn’t feel like ending in the middle. Cutting to the last verse (which, musically speaking, does feel like a proper ending) wasn’t altogether convincing either, with the text turning from penitence to, well, bullocks. We settled on

Auditui meo dabis gaudium et laetitiam:
et exsultabunt ossa humiliata.

Make me hear rejoicing and gladness,
that the bones you have crushed may thrill.

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