Desert Island Discs: No.6 ‘Magnum Mysterium’

Continuing with my obsession with choral music, though this extraordinary piece of contemplative liturgical music is by a modern composer – Danish-American Morten Lauridsen. It helps that this recording is from Westminster Cathedral and is high quality (for Youtube).

One to play with the lights off, and no interruptions.

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Desert Island Discs: No.5 ‘Crucifixus’

To celebrate the Pope’s visit to Britain, and to offer some counterbalance to my resolutely anti-Catholic (and sometimes quite offensive) Facebook news-stream, here’s my favourite piece of music of all time: ‘Crucifixus’ by Antonio Lotti (1667-1740). This is a short, seeringly beautiful part of Lotti’s setting of the Catholic Mass. My version of choice is by The Sixteen, and it’s hard to find anything good on YouTube. The clip below is a poor quality recording, but the voices are exceptional and the setting breathtaking.

Pontificating

As a Catholic, reading about Pope Benedict’s recent comments on homosexuality makes me ashamed and embarassed. That said, I wish I had access to the full transcript; Reuter’s report is selected commentary only. I would like to gauge the tone myself, as that’s all-important. The Church’s view on homosexuality doesn’t shock me, and in fact I wouldn’t want it to change per se, but I do advocate (a) liberalism, and (b) prioritisation. Even if Catholic conservatives disagree with homosexuality, surely they can see it’s not up there with climate change. Perhaps this goes some way to vindicating pre-election predictions of Ratzinger’s reactionary agenda – something that is out of synch with mainstream Catholic opinion in many liberal countries.