30 July 2010

Maior Caritas Op. 5

John August Pamintuan, Composer

Ed: My apologies that the links have not worked.  Blogger has been difficult today.

I am delighted to see that the brilliant Filipino composer John August Pamintuan's Maior Caritas, Op. 5 as sung by the University of the Philippines Madrigal Singers -- known in the Philippines as "Madz" -- is now available as an MP3 download from Amazon.com.  A link is provided in the little box in this post.

Unless you live in the Philippines or in an enclave of ex-pat Filipinos elsewhere in the world, you would have had a terrible time locating this CD.   After the exercise of much patience I worked my way through Filipino websites to find one selling it, and I have loved every minute of listening to this CD over the last few years.  They are one of my favourite choirs in the world and we feature this recording of theirs (and others) on RADIO WALSINGHAM ONLINE.  What the listener gets with this recording is the Madrigal Singers almost doing sightreading of the material whilst recording.  In fact, this recording is in some ways a miracle that it took place at all.

Now that I have told you it was recorded almost as the choir sightsinging the music, several of the tracks are sheer perfection and are worth the cost of downloading the whole mp3 album.  "O Magnum Mysterium" by Pamintuan should become part of the standard repertoire of every choir.  I say the same is true with Pamintuan's imaginative, prayerful, and impassioned Pater Noster.  As those who journey to the great choral competitions in Italy and the rest of Europe know well, the University of Philippines Madrigal Singers have been one of the greatest choirs in the world.  

Mark Anthony Carpio, the choir director of Madz of this recording, is to be congratulated on the wisdom of recording this work and making it available to the world even if it did not at times let the polished perfection of Madz in performance shine through as clearly.  Of the recorded pieces of Maior Caritas, Op5,  "O Magnum Mysterium" has become almost an expectation of the discerning audience, and I commend the hearing of it to everyone.

I do not know much about the other compositions by John August Pamintuan, but the example of this CD tells me that there is great musical treasure to be found here for the choral director looking for great new music that stands proudly in the living tradition of the great sacred music of the Church.
+Laus Deo!