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Sistine Chapel Choir/Pope Francis I: Habemus Papam [Digipak]

Track List

>Dominus fortitudo plebis suæ
>Laus tibi Christe - Sicut dilexit me Pater
>Credo (3)
>Sicut in holocaustis
>Doxology (Dossologia)
>Pater noster
>Ego vos elegi de mundo
>Missa de Angelis (Mass of the Angels): Ite, missa est
>Ave, Regina cælorum
>Litaniæ Sanctorum
>Veni, creator Spiritus
>Habemus Papam
>Tu es Petrus
>Statuit ei Dominus testamentum pacis
>Missa de Angelis (Mass of the Angels): Kyrie
>Laus tibi Christe - Tu es Petrus
>Exaltabo te, Domine
>Missa de Angelis (Mass of the Angels): Sanctus
>Missa de Angelis (Mass of the Angels): Agnus Dei
>Caro mea
>O sacrum convivium
>Ave, verum Corpus
>Fanfare on the theme of "Tu es Petrus" (Fanfara sul tema del "Tu es Petrus")
>Tu es Petrus
>Laudes Regiæ
>Missa de Angelis (Mass of the Angels): Gloria
>Laus tibi Christe - Beati qui habitant
>Tu es pastor ovium
>Doxology (Dossologia)
>Ioseph, fili David
>Prelude and Fugue in C major, BWV 545: Fugue

Album Remarks & Appraisals:

On 23 November 2014, Deutsche Grammophon will release HABEMUS PAPAM, a double album featuring live recordings of the music sung by the Sistine Chapel Choir, directed by Monsignor Massimo Palombella, before, during and after the Conclave that led to the election of Pope Francis in 2013: the Mass for the Election of the Roman Pontiff (St Peter's Basilica, 12 March 2013), the entry of the Cardinal-Electors into the Conclave (Sistine Chapel, 12 March 2013), the Mass with the Cardinal-Electors (Sistine Chapel, 14 March 2013) and, lastly, the Mass for the Inauguration of the Petrine Ministry (St Peter's Square, 19 March 2013).

These key moments in the life of the Catholic Church have never before been captured on record, making this release a unique document from both a musical and a historical perspective. Adding to its significance is the inclusion of the announcement of the Conclave's choice and of the first speech made by the newly elected Pope Francis, on 19 March 2013: eleven minutes that captivated audiences worldwide.

Among the works included on this new album are two gems of the liturgical repertoire by Palestrina: the offertory Sicut in holocaustis, probably written to be sung as part of the Mass for the Election of the Roman Pontiff, and the motet Tu es pastor ovium, composed for the enthronement of Pope Sixtus V (1 May 1585). The album also includes several examples of Gregorian chant, as well as works by Francesco Guerrero, J.S. Bach, Lorenzo Perosi, Luigi Molfino and Massimo Palombella.

Monsignor Palombella is the current director of the exceptional Sistine Chapel Choir, whose members perform all the music on the album.

Album Notes

Liner Note Author: Roberto Gabbiani.

This recording is not a reconstruction of the music that accompanies the selection of a new pope, nor, thank goodness, the soundtrack to the 2012 film comedy with which it shares a title. Instead, it is an actual live recording of three masses, plus a litany and motet, as they were sung over three days when Francis I was chosen as Pope in 2013. Two of the masses were recorded outdoors, in St. Peter's Square, and the music is liberally accompanied by late-winter coughing and by the clicking of camera shutters. It might be supposed from all this that the album is primarily intended as a souvenir of the occasion, and no doubt the sales to be reaped from that status explain its release on the venerable Deutsche Grammophon imprint. Yet it's interesting even for those with no particular connection to Francis and Catholicism. It's still rare to employ a mass for direct musical use rather than as a musical artifact, and it's interesting especially to hear the vast litany of saints chanted, like a tribal invocation of ancestors, as the cardinals enter the selection conclave. Further, the music as a whole, to quote the booklet note by Roberto Gabbiani, is "steeped in history and at the same time so much part of the present. It comes from the liturgy given out by the Second Vatican Council, which is pronounced to good purpose as a guarantee of the essential concern for the congregation, in an illuminating dialogue with contemporary culture and with a skillful inclusion of segments of tradition that are part of history, respecting the roots of its own identity." Thus, you hear pieces ranging from Gregorian chant to contemporary compositions and even, at the end of the Mass for the beginning of the Petrine Ministry (the office of the Pope), a fugue by the Lutheran Bach. Some of the music is a cappella, some accompanied by organ, some monophonic, some polyphonic. In the end, whatever you think of such a thing, the album represents a decent document revealing where the Catholic church stood musically at the beginning of Francis' papacy. ~ James Manheim


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