That’s the music of the Dominican Friars of Poland, now available in English. A rotating cast of non-professional singers from across the country came together over an extended weekend in January 2020 to record two albums’ worth of liturgical music. The repertoire forms a basic corpus of music for the whole church year. It can be learned and sung well in a short amount of time, by dedicated choirs of modest means – just like our album, recorded by volunteer singers after a brief period of rehearsing.
Here we are excited to share with you the second album, Eva | Ave, with choral music for Marian feast days, Advent, and Ordinary Time. Its title is drawn from a medieval hymn Ave Maris Stella (Hail, Star of the Sea). It depicts Mary as the new Eve, and the former’s obedience restoring the grace lost through the latter woman’s disobedience. In Latin Eve is spelt “Eva” which in reverse spells “Ave” (“hail!”), the greeting that the Angel Gabriel spoke in the Annunciation to Mary. Hence we sing: Taking that wondrous greeting / Which was by Gabriel spoken, / Changing “Eva” to “Ave”, / Be of God’s peace the token. Our album features an arrangement of this hymn with a 17th century melody from a Benedictine monastery of Staniątki, harmonized by Fr. Dawid Kusz, OP, masterfully translated by Christopher Mueller.
We are pleased to make this music available for free to the whole world. Please download our scores and start singing! We know that this music will transform the prayer life of singers and congregation alike through its powerful, meditative beauty.
Recording and Mastering
Audio recording by: Bill Levey, Via Audio Seattle
Mastering and post-production by: Magda Piotrowska, Hear Candy Mastering
Cover design: Natalia Miazga
DLC Choir 1
Christopher Mueller, conductor
Julia Bellefeuille, Erin Brown, Hope Chamberlain, Becca Chavarría, Danielle Dellino, Eugenia Geisel, Mary Van Hollebeke
Mikaela Hertel, Ariaga Mucek, Tess Murray, Annie Nguyen, Jenny Taylor
Paul-Henry Flynn, Marcin Juraszek, Br. Andrew Thomas Kang, O.P., Fr. Gabriel Torretta, O.P.
Zachary Groeblinghoff, Fr. Lukasz Misko, O.P., Peter Molina, Giordan Montero
Recording date: Thursday, January 2, 2020
Blessed Sacrament Church, Seattle, WA
Performances: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8
DLC Choir 2
Zachary Groeblinghoff, conductor
Julia Bellefeuille, Erin Brown, Hope Chamberlain, Becca Chavarría, Eugenia Geisel, Lizzie Priddis, Sophia Holt, Caitlin Lynch
Mikaela Hertel, Tess Murray, Annie Nguyen, Jenny Taylor
Marcin Juraszek, Br. Andrew Thomas Kang, O.P., Fr. Lukasz Misko, O.P.
Matthew McGehee, Peter Molina, Giordan Montero
Recording date: Saturday, January 4, 2020.
Performances: 6, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13
A project of this scope has many participants and many costs, and we gratefully accept donations from anyone who would like to support our work. Please use the form below to make a financial contribution of any size to the Dominican Liturgical Center, which commissioned and recorded these pieces.
We love listening to the music from the Dominican Liturgical Center in Krakow. This music finds the sweet spot for liturgical music: not overdone, not overly embellished, but also not too simple. It is harmonically interesting and layered, yet pure and honest in nothing but four vocal parts. For us, as lovers of the Mass, it conveys the earnestness of a soul yearning for God that is perfect for the celebration of the heavenly liturgy. It is a much-needed salve for congregations tired of modern, secular-style music and turned off by stuffy organ tunes (the moldy oldies!). We wish there were more choirs and choir directors in American churches emulating this style of liturgical music. Thank you so much for sharing it with the world!
Michael and Suzanne MozdyCommunity leaders, St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Newman Center at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City
This album gives voice to the deepest hope our hearts long to express. Sacred music like this invites us to turn from the struggle and monotony of life to glimpse the eternal. Like the Virgin Mary, beauty gives unfailing witness to the enduring mercy of God.
Rev. Patrick Mary Briscoe, OPDeputy Senior Editor, Aleteia
This musical style is fresh and accessible, yet it echoes tradition and transcendence. It maintains this regardless of whether it is sung by a full, grand choir with organ or a simple, reverent a cappella choir. We experienced this first-hand: whether in the awe-inspiring Polish Dominican basilica or in the humble chapel for our wedding, the music gives way to the spirit of truth.
Brian and Mary JohannesmeyerPhD student and stay-at-home mom, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Lament relative to the quality of liturgical music in the English-speaking Catholic world is almost universal. In particular, parishes have little serious repertoire to draw upon for the Marian feasts of the liturgical year that an average choir could sing. In this album, English Catholics should find reason to let their soul rejoice along with the Blessed Virgin. Classic Marian texts have been superbly translated into English. And yet, the beauty of this album transcends a verbal poetics. The music is properly attuned to the joyful gravity of the texts. Parishes adopting this Polish Dominican music will re-discover the gift of the Blessed Virgin Mary for the liturgical life of the Church, letting her fiat become our own.
Timothy P. O’Malley, Ph.D.Academic Director, Notre Dame Center for Liturgy; McGrath Institute for Church Life
I first encountered Polish Dominican music during my conversion to Catholicism. The sung prayer accompanied my journey discovering Christ. These recordings and the downloadable scores have brought this awe-inspiring music into our home and have been a constant companion to prayer, the soundtrack to our everyday lives and a guide to living out the Liturgical Calendar. Eva|Ave is a beautiful addition to the Dominican Liturgical Center repertoire. This collection of Marian meditations are perfect for the Christmas season and Ordinary Time. Whether listening to these moving pieces to guide prayer or in the background of busy family life, this album orients my whole being toward Grace and Holiness.
Katy Kisslermom, midwife, PhD student
This type of simple, Scripturally-rooted, and liturgically-centered music belongs in every parish that believes that beauty is “not mere decoration, but rather an essential element of the liturgical action, since it is an attribute of God himself and his revelation” (Sacramentum Caritatis).
Prior to hearing this both/and mix of tradition and modernity, chant and hymn, liturgy and devotion, I thought that the music of the Church consisted only of Gregorian chant, a few traditional hymns, and a modern canon of hymns that serves more devotional than liturgical purposes. The music of the Dominican Liturgical Center shows that we can embrace the beauty of tradition without limiting ourselves to only Gregorian chant and a few hymns. Most importantly for me, as a non-musically trained lay-person, this music is easy to sing and easy to pray with.
Eva | Ave continues in this Polish Dominican liturgical music tradition of dynamic, simple, and beautiful music with a welcomed additional focus on music to celebrate Our Lady’s feast days. I pray that this album may bring more people to see the beauty of the Church’s music and to embrace their roles as full participants in the liturgy.
Kristiane SonnenbergCatholic school teacher, New Orleans, LA
“We hope that these wonderful, prayerful pieces may inspire you to pray to Our Blessed Lord through song — these songs!”
Lukasz Misko, OP