Friday, April 22, 2011

Pange Lingua

Stumbled on the largest French-style pipe organ built in the last half century today - also the only French-built organ installed in New York. It's at the Church of the Ascension, and it's brand new - official consecration is May 1st. (The organ it replaces did not extend into the sanctuary the way this one does.) Its deep rich power enveloped us as we sang the lovely "Pange Lingua" (166 in the 1982 Hymnal) which I am familiar with as plainchant (mode 3!) - unison, and a capella or accompanied by a simple recorder. What a difference! But appropriate to Good Friday. Human voices nearly drowned out by resonant depths, troubling modulations, tragic grandeur.

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