Saturday, November 07, 2009

De Profundis

Here is a website ( where you can hear Antonio Salieri's magnificent De Profúndis sung by the choir that St. Josaphat Church in Detroit shares with Assumption Church in Windsor (simply scroll down and click on De Profúndis).

The recordings are made during Mass and so there is unfortunately some background noise; but it will give you a sense of what power sacred music can have with a schola cantorum that is truly master of its craft.

Salieri's De Profúndis was sung by this choir at the High Mass for All Souls' Day last Monday evening. It is hard to put into words the compelling power of this musical setting of this lament, Penitential Psalm 130. Out of the depths, the psalmist cries out to God, beseeching His mercy. In Catholic Tradition, this lament becomes part of the liturgical prayers for the faithful departed.

As our liturgical Master of Ceremonies describes it, the composition expresses compellingly the obligation that we on earth have to pray for the departed souls in Purgatory. In Salieri's setting, the piece progressively builds until it swells to a moving crescendo. The interplay of the organ and the singers is gripping.

Psalm 130

1Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O LORD.

2Lord, hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications.

3If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?

4But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.

5I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.

6My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning.

7Let Israel hope in the LORD: for with the LORD there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption.

8And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.

1 comment:

William said...

Hello! Came across your link to the lovely rendition of De Profundis by the choir in Windsor, and it's true that the ambient noise in the church makes it difficult to hear the music clearly. Thought you might enjoy this recording, which is clearer: