Yesterday’s entry in the Dance is shaping up to be a non-contest, so let’s look at two more pieces that feature the Blessed Mother prominently. Neither was listed in NPM’s top-25. Both, however, are listed in many polls of traditional Catholics and lovers of seasonal music.
The pre-eminent Marian antiphon is Salve Regina. It is sung by monastics at Compline during Ordinary Time between Pentecost and Advent. Like the Ave Maria, it has been set hundreds of times. Probably thousands. Including by Franz Schubert. I like the chant in the monastic setting. The linked one above is a bit slow and syrupy, but it is by bestselling artists. For a contemporary choral setting, try this one.
The pedigree of “Silent Night” is almost legendary. A non-functional pipe organ on Christmas, and Frank Gruber brings out his trusty guitar more than a century before Ray Repp made it popular in the post-Vatican II world.
I located a few lists of favorite Christmas music. One featured twenty titles, and only two were songs for worship. “Silent Night” was number 13. It was the top, and so it netted a number 7 seed in the 2012 Liturgical Dance. Here’s an instrumental version on one of my favorite instruments.
It’s a tough choice, but I’m sure y’all are up for it:
I confess: I generally loathe Silent Night. Not intrinsically, because because of the way it tends to be sung in our culture.
The simple tone does work very well for the congregation. When sung that way, it tends to zip along more so than the linked performance.
Wow, this should have been a Final Four matchup. Talk about tough seeding!
BTW many diocesan priests are also accustomed to chanting the Salve Regina at the conclusion of Night Prayer. It’s easy to tell at priest funerals, since the majority of priests are able to chant it as the body is carried to the hearse.