Music for the Second Sunday of Advent

Sun., December 9, 2018 10:00am ·

Sunday, December 9, 2018
Second Sunday of Advent, Year C

The Schola Cantorum sings music of Palestrina, Martini and Chesnokov and a beloved chorus from Handel’s Messiah for the celebration of the Second Sunday of Advent, December 9.

Preparation of the Gifts 10am Mass, “Deus tu Convertens” - Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525-1594)

This motet from the composer’s “Offertoria” collection of 1593 sets the Offertory Proper for this 2nd Sunday of Advent. The work begins with a bright motive utilizing descending fifth in a minor key, whose text, ‘You will turn to us, O God, and restore our life again,’ is passed through the five voices before concluding the section in the major. The second part of the piece takes a quieter and partially homophonic setting before a completely unified choral setting of the words ‘Show us, Lord, your mercy.’ Afterwards, the piece alternates between gentle polyphony and declarative homophony before concluding on a triumphal authentic cadence for the text ‘grant us your Salvation.’

To hear a version, click below:

Preparation of the Gifts 11:30am Mass, “Salvation is Created” – Pavel Chesnokov (1877-1944)

Pavel Chesnokov was a Russian composer in the last years of Imperial Russia, as well as in the first years of the Soviet Union. He was born near Moscow and studied at the Moscow Conservatory where he later taught. Of the five hundred choral works he composed, four hundred are sacred and written before the Revolution in 1917. He was also the last Choir Master for the Cathedral of Christ the Savior prior to its demolition in 1931. This motet is his most famous work outside of Russia and has been performed and recorded numerous times. The text is taken from Psalm 74 and was used as a Communion hymn for Fridays in the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. The voicing is in six parts and makes use of four part male voice writing for most of the piece. The form of the work is two parts, which are musically similar. The first half sets the text of the psalm, while the second sets the word Alleluia.

To hear a version, click below:

Post-Communion 10am Mass, “Jerusalem Surge” – Padre G. B. Martini (1706-1784)

Martini was a music historian, theorist, composer, and Franciscan priest, born in Bologna, Italy. In 1725 he became Chapel Master for San Francesco, Bologna, and later opened a school in the city where he attracted such students as J. C. Bach, C. Gluck, and W. A. Mozart. There is a strong influence of Fuxian counterpoint in his music, as well as more homophonic classical styles. The text Jerusalem Surge is the Communion Proper for the 2nd Sunday of Advent and is taken from the Book of Baruch. It speaks of Jerusalem rising from its captivity and its joyful anticipation of the coming of the Messiah. To hear a version, click below:

Post-Communion 11:30am Mass, “And the Glory of the Lord” – George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)

This exuberant anthem is taken from his oratorio Messiah (1742). It is the first choral anthem of the oratorio, and appears in the first scene, setting the text from the prophet Isaiah. The movement is built on three brief text motives, which are presented and then intertwined. The movement is in triple meter, so facilitate textual accents, as well as yield to the joyous quality of the movement. Before becoming a British citizen, Handel was born in Halle, Saxony, (Germany) and was strongly influence by German polyphonic writing, as well as Italian opera. He emigrated to England in 1712, settling in London, and became a British citizen in 1727.

To hear a version, click below:

Resources for the Second Sunday of Advent:
Mass Readings ~ Reflection in English ~ Reflexión en español