Saturday, May 14, 2005

What I’m listening to and where
Catholic music by Hungarian composers
Ferenc Farkas, Lajos Bárdos and Zoltan Kodaly (the names often don’t sound like they look). Modern music, some written as recently as 1994, with some cool dissonance but in Latin and part of the great tradition. To employ that overused word, awesome.

Sung by lovely people (met them), the Music Group of Philadelphia (as you can see they specialize in Eastern European music — they’ve done Russian Orthodox liturgical works)...

... at an ironic (but fitting the music like a glove) building demonstrating Catholic architecture (Victorian version of Gothic, the period’s version of a French cathedral):

First Presbyterian Church
(Sorry there aren’t pictures of the interior.) Just west of Philadelphia’s posh Rittenhouse Square. It was controversial when it was built in the late 1800s as Presbys went in for early-1800s Greek Revival preachin’ barns, not this popish architecture.

These mainline ex-Calvinists haven’t got bishops and may be ‘diverse’, ‘inclusive’, yadda, yadda, but with First Presby’s Gothic chancel and stone altar front and centre (and in the right position for eastward celebration?) one could move in and have Mass (the organ console on a lift would have to stay around floor level though).

The unfriendly local RCs wouldn’t go near this culture in church with a barge-pole.

God works in funny ways.

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