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Porta Fidei

A meditation on Faith in words and music

Porta fidei

Format: Audio CD
Produced by: The Music Makers and Schola Cantamus
Narrated by: Archbishop Bernard Longley (Archbishop of Birmingham)
Directed by: Jeremy de Satgé

Pope Benedict XVI has called for a "Year of Faith" to usher the whole Church into a time of particular reflection and rediscovery of the faith. The year starts on October 11, 2012, which is both the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council and the 20th anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The Year of Faith will conclude on November 24, 2013, the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Universal King.

It has been a privilege and pleasure to produce a CD to help promote the Year of Faith generally and to produce a reflection on faith in words and music. The music selected for this CD is this recording includes both ancient and modern, Latin and English, with a particular emphasis on English music and featuring especially one of my favourite English composers, Orlando Gibbons.

Once again, I am indebted to Archbishop Bernard Longley, who has taken time from his busy schedule to narrate this CD.

Jeremy de Satgé
September 2012

Track List:
  1. Invitatory Psalm 95 (94) [harmonized English chant]
  2. Introduction
  3. Lumen gentium cum sit Christus [acclamation] (Jeremy de Satgé)
  4. The Door of Faith
  5. Love of the Father [hymn] (music by Orlando Gibbons)
  6. Pope Benedict XVI’s Vision for the Year of Faith
  7. In te Domine speravi (Hans Leo Hassler)
  8. Year of Faith
  9. Ubi caritas (Gregorian chant, arr. Jeremy de Satgé)
  10. Caritas Christi urget nos
  11. The Apostles’ Creed from Missa Melismatica (Jeremy de Satgé)
  12. The Creed
  13. Loquebantur variis linguis (Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina)
  14. What is Faith?
  15. Firmly, I Believe and Truly [hymn] (music adptd Ralph Vaughan Williams; text, Bl. John Henry Newman)
  16. Examples of Faith — Mary, Mother of Jesus
  17. Magnificat for Soprano Solo (Jeremy de Satgé)
  18. Examples of Faith — Simeon
  19. Nunc dimittis — Song of Simeon from Short Service (Orlando Gibbons)
  20. Examples of Faith — The Apostles and Martrys
  21. Let All on Earth Their Voices Raise [hymn] (music by Jeremiah Clarke; text, Exsultet cælum laudabus, tr. Richard Mant)
  22. Faith and charity
  23. Alleluia, In te Domine (Gregorian chant) — Alleluia [Gospel Verse] for 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time
  24. Reflection on Faith by Jeremy de Satgé
  25. Most Ancient of All Mysteries [hymn] (music adptd. Richard Redhead; text, Frederick William Faber, Cong Orat)
  26. Reflection on Faith by Archbishop Bernard Longley
  27. Blessed Are the Pure in Heart [hymn] (Music Franconia, adptd. William Henry Havergal; text, John Keble and William John Hall)
  28. Reflection on Faith by Bl. Teresa of Calcutta
  29. The Beatitudes [harmonized English chant]
  30. Pray for Faith by Pope Paul VI
  31. O Lord, Increase My Faith (Orlando Gibbons)
  32. Prayer for the Faith of God’s People by Bl. John Paul II
  33. Give Me the Wings of Faith to Rise [hymn] (music by Orlando Gibbons; text, Isaac Watts)
  34. Prayer for the Year of Faith
  35. Sub tuum praesidium (Gregorian chant)
  36. Doxology, with Amen from Mass for Four Voices (William Byrd)
  37. Christus vincit [acclamation]
  38. Thy Hand, O God, Has Guided [hymn] (tune: Thornbury by Basil Harwood; text, Edward Hayes Plumptre)

Total playing time: 76 minutes

An excerpt from a review in the Catholic Times:

Here, perfectly timed, is a wonderful musical accompaniment to the "Year of Faith" proclaimed by the Holy Father as a time of particular reflection and rediscovery of the faith. Those who have heard the CDs produced before by this group will know that we are talking about something of the very highest quality in the readings as well as in the music. Once again, the Archbishop of Birmingham, Archbishop Bernard Longley, reads the various texts. It is a wonderful co-operation between an Archbishop and a lay group. I know of nothing else like it and His Grace is to be applauded, not just for his support, but for the quality of his reading. I cannot think how the readings could be bettered: they are models of clarity, and both dignified and edifying in the profound simplicity of their diction.

Several of the chants and hymns will be familiar such as Ubi caritas. There are also new settings, some by Jeremy de Satgé himself such as a chant version of The Apostles’ Creed in English. Others are by a host of different composers: English composers, such as Orlando Gibbons constitute a special delight, not too familiar to us Catholics. As in the previous CDs, it is good to hear new melodies to familiar hymns. A fine Vaughan Williams tune gives a new but powerful and haunting version of Newman’s "Firmly I Believe and Truly."

About half the music tracks are sung a capella — without accompaniment — and by just four voices: soprano, alto, tenor and bass, which constitute the Schola Cantamus. The resulting concentration, simplicity and purity ensure that every word is clearly heard and comprehensible. Other tracks have a light organ accompaniment. The diction is absolutely transparent and the four lines of the harmony are easily perceived. I strongly recommend it for Catholic choirs:it shows what can be done and provides an outstanding example of Catholic choral singing. In the rousing Christus vincit, it is difficult to believe that there are only four singers.

The Music Makers’ aim is to add to the repertoire of quality church music by publishing new music that upholds the tradition of the Church (stemming from the Gregorian and polyphonic traditions), whilst keeping firmly in line with the guidelines of Vatican II and subsequent documents. It is also its objective to produce music which is accessible to both amateur and professional choirs and, in so doing, support the continued use of the Church’s traditional music, plainsong. These aims are splendidly achieved as this latest CD exemplifies.

Eric Hester


Order #: 9032
Price: $19.95


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