Friday, December 29, 2006

Ave Verum Corpus -- An Awesome Composition by Mozart

Today, I will be focusing on a Motet which was composed by Mozart specially for "Corpus Christi Sunday".

It is awesome, beautiful, inspiring, and soul stirring.

Although, it is short -- It has an awesome perspective on "The Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist".

Here are some Links which give a brief description on this beautiful Motet.

1) A Brief Description on this Motet:

2) Ave Verum Corpus - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 - 1791)

3) Listen to "Ave Verum Corpus" at the following Links:



Enjoy and Have a Blessed Week - End.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

A Blessed, Holy, Joyful, and Merry Christmas to one and all

Merry Christmas to one and all.

May the Infant King who was born in the manger at Bethlehem bless you all abundantly and your families too.

Here are some interesting links to check out on "The Solemnity of Christmas".

1. An Awesome Directory on Christmas (This Site is my favorite Catholic Site)

2. Awesome Homilies on Christmas Day by a Holy Priest






3. Listen to The Third Mass for the Nativity of Jesus Christ Chanted by the Benedictine Monks of the Abbey of Saint Martin Beuron, Bavaria in Germany (Gregorian Chant)

Monday, December 18, 2006

The Rosary Sonatas of Heinrich Von Biber

Today, I will be focusing or talking about the "Rosary Sonatas" also called the Mystery Sonatas of Heinrich Von Biber -- a Baroque Composer of the late 17th Century.

He was renowned for his Sacred Compositions.

Here is some information on Heinrich Von Biber from a couple of links.


"Biber Mystery Sonatas"

by James Clements

In 1676 Heinrich Biber wrote of his ‘faith in stringed instruments (fidem in fidibus)’, demonstrating his love of rhetoric, probably imbued in him by his Jesuit education. Of all Biber’s seven collections of music, however, the expression ‘faith in stringed instruments’ is most evident in the Mystery or Rosary Sonatas, which survive in a beautifully-written manuscript, compiled in the early 1670s, and now housed in the Bavarian State Library. The manuscript contains fifteen compositions for violin and bass, and a concluding Passacaglia for unaccompanied violin. In the absence of a title page, the various titles in use today derive from the fifteen engravings in the manuscript, one placed at the start of each of the first fifteen compositions depicting, in turn, the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary. Similarly, the Passacaglia is accompanied by a drawing of a Guardian Angel holding the hand of a child.

The engravings were probably cut from a Rosary psalter, the name given to the hundreds of devotional books published by Rosary confraternities active in central Europe at this time. These books contained detailed instruction on praying the Rosary, and frequently included biblical quotations, meditations, prayers, and engravings depicting the mysteries. Such books were produced by the Jesuits — a religious order who influenced education and devotional practices more than any other religious group in seventeenth-century Europe — and who were known for advocating Rosary devotion with music. One such confraternity existed in Salzburg during the seventeenth century. It met in the lecture hall — the Aula Academica — of Salzburg’s University, which still contains fifteen paintings depicting the mysteries. The Rosary Sonatas were probably performed in this room.

As Biber mentions in the Latin dedication of the Rosary Sonatas, Rosary devotion was promoted most ardently by the dedicatee of the collection and Biber’s employer, Archbishop Maximilian Gandolph von Khuenberg, who may have attended meetings in the Aula Academica. The paintings in the Aula Academica, the engravings in Biber’s manuscript and Rosary psalters exemplify the importance of imagery in Rosary devotion in the region at this time, which correlates with a principal concept of Jesuit devotion, namely, the use of all five senses when praying. Thus, by contemplating the image, reading the texts, and hearing the music, individuals were supposed to create a mental picture of the mystery, often in minute detail and at great length.

Read more at:

2) Check out more on "The Rosary Sonatas" at this Awesome Link

If anyone wants a link to listen to 3 of the 15 Rosary Sonatas composed by Biber, Contact me via email.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Online Catholic Classics Advent and Christmas Special

Today, I am focusing on two Catholic Classics which are extremely helpful and insightful specially for us -- Catholics during Advent and Christmas.

The Two Catholic Classics are:

1) Bethlehem by Father Frederick Faber

2) The Birth, Incarnation, and Infancy of Jesus Christ by Saint Alphonsus Ligouri

Both of these Catholic Classics can be read at the following links:

"Bethlehem by Father Faber" (An Excerpted Work)


The Birth, Incarnation, and Infancy of Jesus Christ by Saint Alphonsus Ligouri

(An Excerpted Work)


A Blessed Advent and Merry and Joyful Christmas to all.

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

More on Tomas Luis De Victoria

This is the "Final Edition" of my Post on one of the most awesome Composers of "The Early Rennaissance Period" from Spain.

I found this article extremely interesting as well as insightful as regards Tomas Luis De Victoria.

I am not sure whether I have mentioned this in my first post on Tomas Luis De Victoria, but my all time "Favorite Compositions of Victoria" are 1) Missa Magnum Mysterium, 2) O Vos Omnes, and 3) Ave Maria.

Here is a small snippet of this article for your perusal.


By Jon Dixon

From the magazine Early Music Review (September, 1997)


Tomás Luis de Victoria, arguably the most outstanding composer of the Spanish golden age, ranks with Byrd, Lassus and Palestrina as one of the four greatest composers of the 16th century. He was long overshadowed in public esteem by Palestrina, and it was not until the early 20th century that a complete edition of his works was prepared by the great Spanish scholar Felipe Pedrell.

This is an invaluable and well documented edition to which all subsequent editors are indebted, but, because it makes extensive use of C clefs and presents the music at original written pitch, it has not facilitated the performance of this fine music as much as it deserves.

Later, in the mid 60s and early 70s, two excellent critical editions, now prepared according to modem editorial conventions, were produced in modem clefs and reduced notation by Higinio Anglés and Samuel Rubio. These made the music more accessible and added considerably to our knowledge of the various sources, but neither edition covered the whole of Victoria's output and both presented the music at original pitch.

A number of very useful and well-produced performing editions have also appeared but comparatively little of Victoria's output was covered.

Read more at:

Check out some new links I have here for your perusal.

1) "Text Version of Masses, Motets, Hymns, and Psalms composed by Victoria"

'Listen to two awesome compositions by Tomas Luis De Victoria'

2) "Ave Maria by Tomas Luis De Victoria"

3) "O Domine Jesu, Motet" by Tomas Luis De Victoria

Lastly, Listen to these awesome "Tenebrae Responsories" composed by Tomas Luis De Victoria.


Note: If anyone is interested in awesome mp3's of Victoria, contact me.

Also, let me know whether you enjoyed reading this second post on Tomas Luis De Victoria.

Monday, December 4, 2006

Tomas Luis De Victoria -- An Awesome 16th Century Spanish Sacred Music Composer and Polyphonist

Today, I am focusing on a Composer who is not very well known.

He is a Spanish Composer of "Sacred Polyphony" known as 'Tomas Luis De Victoria'.

Tomas Luis De Victoria is one of my favorite composers of "Sacred Choral Music" along with Beethoven, Mozart, Palestrina, Bach, and Haydn to mention a few.

He was responsible for composing twenty masses, 44 motets, 36 hymns, 16 alternating plainsong magnificats (plus a magnificent work for two choirs, ten sublime Marian antiphons, 7 psalm settings for double choirs, 4 sequences, some pieces written to be included in the liturgy, and a body of music composed for Holy Week services).

Here is some awesome information on this Composer.

1) From:

Victoria was the greatest spanish polyphonist of all times, and probably one of the best of his time in Europe. He was born in Avila around 1548, as the seventh child of Francisca Suarez de la Concha and Francisco Luis de Victoria. Although they would still have four more children, Francisco Luis de Victoria was to die when the composer was only nine years old. Around a year later he became chorister in the cathedral of Avila, where he would stay until the age of eighteen. He started here with his studies of the theory of plainsong, counterpoint and composition, and also practiced playing the keyboard. During these years he studied under the supervision of the masters Jeronimo de Espinar, Bernardino de Ribera, Juan Navarro and Hernando de Isasi. Some specialists think he may also have met Antonio de Cabezon during this time.

Once he ended his time as chorister, Victoria was sent in 1567 to the Colegium Germanicum of the Jesuit Order in Rome. He possibly studied under the supervision of Palestrina, who was chapel master and instructor of Chant and Music of the nearby Roman Seminary, (where he also met Palestrina's sons, Rodolfo and Angel). In January 1569, he left the Collegium Germanicum and, while continuing his studies, became organist and singer in the spanish chapel of Santa Maria de Monserrat, the official place of worship of the crown of Aragon in Rome. In 1571 he returned to the Collegium Germanicum where he was appointed as teacher. In this year, he also succeeded Palestrina as chapel master of the Roman Seminar, (according to Casimiri, it was Palestrina who proposed him).

Read More at:

2)Listen to Victoria's Sacred Music at the following Links:




P.S.- At the above link, you can listen to some Music of Victoria.

" A Group in France dedicated to Sacred Polyphony"


e) Listen to a Mass composed by Tomas Luis De Victoria and performed by a Group dedicated to "Sacred Polyphony in the United States"

"An All Comprehensive Directory where you can listen to Music composed by Tomas Luis De Victoria and performed by several groups.


"Listen to an awesome and young group from Milan, Italy performing many of Victoria's Works including a couple of Masses composed by him.


Enjoy and give me some feedback.

Sunday, December 3, 2006

Feast of Saint Francis Xavier: India’s greatest and most revered Saint and Patron of the Missions

Today, I am taking a Day's Break from Blogging about Sacred Choral Music and instead I wil be blogging on one of the greatest Saints that the Catholic Church has produced -- Saint Francis Xavier, an intrepid Jesuit Missionary to Asia.

Today is a Glorious Day for all Asian Catholics.

I say this because, today is the Feast of Saint Francis Xavier Patron of the Missions and Missionary par excellence who evangelized parts of Asia in the 16th Century.

Check out these awesome Links to learn more about Saint Frnacis Xavier.

1) "Francis Xavier: The greatest and most revered Saint"


December 3,2006

"Francis Xavier: The greatest and most revered Saint"

Goa (ICNS) -- December 3 is the feast of Saint Francis Xavier, one of the greatest missionaries of the Catholic Church. These days, thousands of pilgrims are venerating the relics of St Xavier at the Se Cathedral in Old Goa.

Indian Catholic pays tribute to St Xavier by presenting the life and times of the saint who worked to spread the Gospel in Asia.

Francis Xavier was not yet born when Portuguese ships had been moving across Arabian Sea carrying pepper and cardamom.

And Goa was not in the Portuguese map until several years after their first ship came in with Vasco Da Gama in 1498.

As trade began to pepper politics in the southwestern Indian coast, Cochin was the Portuguese base. Their ships never anchored on the seas of Goa during that time.

Then on one day in 1510, Portuguese commander Afonso d'Albuquerque came in to challenge Sultan of Bijapur. Armed Afonso was successful. History began to change as Portuguese feet touched the sandy beaches of Goa.

At that time, Francis Xavier was only four years old. He must have been then running around the Castle of Xavier in Navarre, Spain, where he was born in 1506, and baptized as Francisco de Jaso.

Living in the aristocracy of his Basque family, India and its Christian mission was not in his mind. That remained so much after he completed his teenage.

At the age of 19, he went to study at the University of Paris, where he graduated in arts in 1530. He furthered his studies in theology, and became acquainted with Ignatius of Loyola.

Meeting Ignatius ensured a change, and it meant some hard decisions.

Ignatius and Xavier together with five others bonded themselves on August 15, 1534 by a vow and formed the Society of Jesus, what is now popularly known as the Jesuit Order. They told the pope to use them for mission anywhere on the globe.

Those were the times, when Portuguese kings decided mission matters of India and the rest of Orient.

King John III of Portugal wanted Jesuits to take up mission work in the Orient. Together with two other Jesuits, Xavier left Lisbon on April 7, 1541, on board the Santiago.

He sailed through Mozambique and lived in that place until Mach 1542. He reached Goa on May 6, 1542.

In Goa, officially he held the role similar to present Apostolic Nuncio and operated from Goa the following three years.

He had grand plans and colorful dreams for mission in the Orient.

On September 20, 1542, he left for his first missionary activity among the Parava, along the east coast of southern India, north of Cape Comorin.

On the west coast, he attempted to convert the king of Travancore, but was not successful.

He also visited Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). In 1545 he planned a missionary journey to Macassar, on the island of Celebes, in today's Indonesia.

He abandoned the idea of visiting Macassar after arriving in Malacca in October 1545 and waiting there three months in vain for a ship.

He left Malacca on January 1, 1546 and landed on Amboyna, where he stayed until mid-June. He then visited other Molucca Islands. Shortly after Easter 1546, he returned to Ambon Island, and then to Malacca.

Read more at:

2) "When St Xavier was the Defender of the East"

3) "The Miraculous Body of Saint Francis Xavier"

4) “The Official Web Site of The Basilica of Bom Jesu in Goa, India where The Incorrupt Body of Saint Francis Xavier is kept in a casket”

Enjoy and let me know whether this was a post that you enjoyed reading.

Saturday, December 2, 2006

Mozart's Awesome Coronation Mass or Krönungsmesse

Today, I will be concentrating on "Mozart's Awesome Coronation Mass".

It seems that no other Mass composed by Mozart is as popular as "The Coronation Mass".

It was performed on "Easter Sunday" for the first time on the 4th of April 1779. It was also performed for the Coronation Services of two Austrian Emperors Francis I and most likely Leopold, The Second.

Check out these awesome Links to learn more on this Mass which is short in nature and in which there is the use of "Wind Instruments" in this Mass.

It is celebratory in nature as is expected of a Mass on Easter Sunday to celebrate the Resurrection of Christ, Our King.

1) Mass in C Major "Coronation" K.317


Mass in C Major "Coronation" K.317 - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 - 1791)

Not composed for, but performed at Coronation of Francis I in Prague, 1792 and probably Leopold II, 1791.

1. Kyrie
2. Gloria
3. Credo
4. Sanctus
5. Benedictus
6. Agnus Dei

Of the sacred works that Mozart composed in Salzburg none is as well known or as popular as the Mass in C K. 317. In 1779 Mozart returned from his disastrous trip to Paris and, partly out of material necessity and also to please his father, he took up a position in the Archbishop's service in Salzburg. He was to "unbegrudgingly and with great diligence discharge his duties both in the cathedral and at court and in the chapel house, and as occasion presents, to provide the court and church with new compositions of his own creation". At the first opportunity Mozart fulfilled this demand, composing the mass for the Easter Day service on 4th April 1779.

The musical style of the piece corresponds to the hybrid form that was preferred by the Archbishop: its use of wind instruments suggests a "Solemn Mass", and its length suggests a "Short Mass". Mozart himself described his task in a letter: "Our church music is very different to that of Italy, all the more so since a mass with all its movements, even for the most solemn occasions when the sovereign himself reads the mass [e.g. Easter Day], must not last more than 3 quarters of an hour. One needs a special training for this kind type of composition, and it must also be a mass with all instruments - war trumpets, tympani etc." It therefore had be a grand ceremonial setting, but the mass also needed to have a compact structure. Mozart therefore omits formal closing fugues for the Gloria and Credo, the Credo with its problematic, vast text is in a tight rondo form, and the Dona nobis pacem recalls the music of the Kyrie.

Read More at:

2) "For an All Comprehensive Perspective on this Awesome Mass composed by Mozart"

3) "For a Perspective which is insightful on this Mass"


Friday, December 1, 2006

Beethoven's Sublime Mass in C Major

It is exactly a week now, since I started blogging. I am happy to know that my Posts are being appreciated by Classical Music and Sacred Choral Music Fans in Cyberspace.

Today, I am focusing on Ludwig Van Beethoven's "Sublime Mass in C Major".

It seems that Beethoven composed this Mass for the Birthday of Princess Marie von Liechtenstein -- Wife of Prince Nikolaus Esterhazy (II).

This is a Sublime Mass which needs a lot of concentration to appreciate it.

It was initially not appreciated for quite some time by Prince Nikolaus Esterhazy and this upset Beethoven to a large extent.

Check out these awesome Links for more information on this Sublime Mass composed by Beethoven.

1) From:

The C Major Mass was commissioned by Prince Nikolaus Esterhazy (II) to commemorate the name day of his wife, Marie von Liechtenstein. Beethoven’s motivation for writing it, then, was less related to his own religious feeling. Because of this, the style of this mass was similar to that of Haydn’s masses. In fact, this commission was an annual Esterhazy custom fulfilled on six prior occasions by Haydn. The Mass in C, therefore, is not highly creative and is written in a static form.

Even some melodies have been more suggestive of Mozart or Gluck than Beethoven.Nevertheless, Beethoven put enough of his own style into his C Major Mass that he occasionally deviated from conformity to strict conventions. After the first performance of the Mass, the Prince reportedly said, "My dear Beethoven, what have you written there!", evidently in a condescending tone. Beethoven immediately became irritated by this, and he left the Prince’s court on the same day of the performance. The score was then dedicated to Prince Ferdinand Kinsky instead.

Read More at:

2) "For an All Comprehensive Perspective on Beethoven's Mass in C Major"

3) Listen to this Mass in its entirety performed by "The Twin Cities Catholic Chorale" in Minneapolis"

'Mass in C by Ludwig van Beethoven Proper of the Mass'

Enjoy and Let me know if you enjoyed reading this Post on Beethoven's Sublime Mass in C Major.