NE OF THE MOST powerful spiritual experiences I ever had was the Requiem Mass in the Extraordinary Form at the 2012 Sacred Music Colloquium in Salt Lake City, Utah. This is saying a lot, as many of the liturgies at the Colloquia, whether in the Ordinary or Extraordinary Form, have shaken me to the core; I have been overwhelmed with an unspeakable sense of awe, mystery, and joy. Even these words are inadequate.
Requiem pour une américaine à Paris is a direct outgrowth of this experience. It is based largely on the Gregorian Chant Propers of the Requiem Mass. It is dedicated to the memory of my beloved aunt and Godmother, Anita Cipriani, who passed on The Feast of the Sacred Heart, just prior to the 2012 Sacred Music Colloquium. It was premiered on All Souls Day in 2012.
A seven-movement work composed for trumpet and organ, it is reminiscent of an early Twentieth Century French Romantic style. Although quite faithful to many of the Gregorian Chants, this is not a liturgical work, but a concert work. It would be difficult to match the music to the liturgical action. However, I hope this may be a helpful and hopeful meditation on God’s merciful love, and our hopeful expectation of eternal life in the words of Credo quod Redemptor: “I believe that my Redeemer lives, and that on the last day, I shall rise from earth and in my flesh I shall behold God my Savior.”
The CD is available for purchase ($9.99) and for download ($6.93) (Amazon, CD Baby, iTunes, etc.). Or you may listen and follow the scores below on YouTube. (Score available at RJC Cecilia Music)
Free Sample from Score: PDF • VI. Lux aeterna
YouTube: I. Introit | Requiem aeternam”
YouTube: II. Gradual | Requiem aeternam
YouTube: III. Dies Irae
YouTube: IV. Jubilis!
YouTube: V. Offertory | Domine Jesu Christe”
YouTube: VI. Communion | Lux aeterna
YouTube: VII. Last Farewell
HIS WORK WAS COMPOSED for Richard Kelley, trumpet. (Additionally, BSO Organist, James David Christie has asked me to arrange a version for English Horn for him and Robert Sheena, Principal English horn player of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.) Certainly, the trumpet is rarely, if ever associated with Gregorian Chant. However, Mr. Kelley possesses unusually extraordinary grace, dignity, and humility, all which sing beautifully through his playing. (Listen especially to IV. Lux Aeterna and the quote of “In Paradisum” in the VII. Last Farewell.)
The one movement, which is a departure from the Requiem mass, is the “IV. Jubilis!” It briefly quotes the Tract (which of course comes before the Sequence in the mass–the order is reversed in this concert piece.) It is also loosely based on the Post-Vatican II addition of the “Alleluia” The “Jubilis!” theme returns at the end of the final movement, in hopeful expectation of eternal life in heaven.
ICHARD KELLEY, TRUMPET was a soloist with the Boston Symphony and Boston Pops 1984 and 1985 at the age of 16 and 17. He studied at the Juilliard School in NYC, he is a former member of Boston Brass Quintet and a current member of the Brass Band of Battle Creek. His credits include Broadway shows in NYC, TV ads, and film soundtracks. He has performed with artists such as Andrea Bocelli, Ray Charles, Steven Tyler, James Taylor, Glenn Close, Bernadette Peters, Jennifer Aniston, and Vanessa Williams. Conductor of the New England Swing in Nashua New Hampshire, he now plays frequently with the Boston Pops.
NITA CIPRIANI was a French teacher at Hunter College Elementary School and Convent of the Sacred Heart, both in Manhattan. A consummate educator, she studied in Paris and spent much of her life there. In 1992, she was honored by the French Government at the French Consulate in New York as a Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques, a decoration founded by Emperor Napoleon I to honor outstanding academics. Her joy of life and her deep faith in God sing on.
• Pictured: Anita Cipriani and Richard, New York City, 1996
• CD Cover Photography by Rev. James Martin, SJ | Window from St. Mary’s Chapel, Boston College
• Recording Engineer: Evan Landry
• Mastering: Paul Umbach
• Richard Clark played the 1999 Smith & Gilbert Organ Recorded at St. Cecilia Church, Boston