Bells for the Pope Part II

I got some more info on the bells for the Pope! I blogged the first installment last week. First of all, I neglected to include the fourth church Pope Francis visited on his US tour: the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington D.C. I’m not sure if they have bells or not. Please accept my apologies for my omission! Second, last week, I wondered about the Mass program at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington D.C., and recently the Basilica Carillonneur, Robert Grogan, kindly shared it with me. Grogan played a carillon prelude to the Mass that lasted about thirty minutes, then rang the seven-bell peal for about fifteen minutes as the Pope approached the Basilica and made his entrance.

Knights Tower Carillon of Fifty-Six Bells
Robert Grogan, KSG, Basilica Carillonneur

All Creatures of Our God and King*…………Catholische Kirchengesänge (Köln, 1623)

Villancico: Virgen sancta ……………………….Francisco Guerrero (1528-1599)

Sonatas for keyboard by two contemporaries of Fr. Junipero Serra O.F.M:

     Sonata in g minor (Marciano Library, Venice)…….Sebastián de Albero (1722-1756)

     Sonata no. 71 ……………………………………Fr. Antonio Soler (1729-1783)

El Padre Nuestro ……………………………………Fr. Narciso Durán O.F.M. (1776-1846)

     (Paternoster for the California missions)

La Catedral: Preludio (for guitar) ……………………..Agustin Barrios (1885-1944)

Paisajes no. 1: La fuente y la campana (for piano)…….Federico Mompou (1893-1987)
(Landscapes, I: The fountain and the bell)

Eucaristica (Porto Jesús dins el meu cor) ……………….Pablo Casals (1876-1973)

Acclamations for carillon on “Christus vincit” ……………Robert Grogan (b. 1939)

settings for carillon are by *Ronald Barnes (1927-1997) and by the performer

The program pays homage to the Pope’s namesake, St. Francis of Assisi, and St. Junipero Serra, whom the Pope canonized at this Mass. The lyrics to the first piece, a well-known hymn in the Catholic Church, was written as a poem by St. Francis of Assisi. St. Junipero Serra was born in the Catalan region of Spain and served as a missionary in present-day Mexico and California, so most of the remaining pieces speak to his heritage. Guerroro was a Spanish composer of music for the Catholic Church. Mompou and Casals were Catalan composers and performers. The sonatas, as Grogan indicates, were written by Spanish (Albero) and Catalonian (Soler) contemporaries of St. Juniper Serra. The “Pater noster” or “Our Father” piece was written roughly contemporaneous with the time that St. Juniper Serra was serving the Californian missions. The connection between Acclamations for carillon on “Christus vincit” and the Pope or St. Juniper Serra is not clear to me. I’m not sure of the Barrios connection either, other than that both Barrios and Pope Francis hail from South America. It’s a beautiful piece—listen below for the original piece on guitar.

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