Sunday, February 7, 2010

In Quires and places where they squeal...

Now I know it's sort of off topic but the question of choirs has reared its head again. Apparently (shock and horror!) somebody has noticed that a certain liturgical choir in a certain special city is not fit for purpose- not even for 'purpose' in its own rather 'particular' definition and tradition. I say 'off topic' as there really is not a first class choir solely dedicated to the Usus Antiquior that I can think of. Anyhow the comparison is being made with English Choirs. It's true English Catholicism has retained it's choirs (one Benedictine Abbey Choir has even managed to survive two world wars and an ecumenical council) and here's an essential difference between the situation in London, say, and that in a certain continental city- there's more than one choir. In the Archdiocese of Westminster there is the Cathedral Choir, The London Oratory School Schola, the Choir at Cardinal Vaughan School and the Ealing Abbey Choir. Across the river the choir at St George's Cathedral Southwark. All these use boy trebles. At a certain place on the Continent there is; [hum, cough and splutter]; one that I can think of. The quality of the London choirs is partially spurred on by the good natured competition that exists between them. Perhaps, and just perhaps, if there were more choirs in Rome (O go on then! I've gone and said it!), perhaps even a choir founded to serve the traditional rites, other rather venerable institutions may be spurred on to 'up their game'.

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