Mass with a
By K. D. Smith
THE Italian Association of S. Cecilia has recently published a work of unusual conception, inspired by Vatican II—Michael Bonfittora Missa ad Unitatent Ecclesiae. The composer, who has skilfully incorporated liturgical themes bearing on Unity, says "it presents no major difficulties beyond the capacity of a normal choir." For all that, it needs an experienced and powerful body of singers and an able organist. Padre Bonfitto's style displays harmonic mannerisms reminiscent in this country of the school of Stanford, as well as more challenging features. All six movements are purposeful, with word-repetition and organ interludes kept to a minimum. This work deserves performance over here. Dr. Lloyd Webber'a Six Motets for 4-part Choir and Organ (optional in two cases) will receive a welcome. They are short, not hard, and flow smoothly. They may be regarded as a companion suite to his Mass of the Prince of Peace, recently reviewed here. "Tollite Hostias" will quickly become a favourite, and all are ideal for Offertory use, or, in sequence, for recital purposes (4s.). From the same publisher, Cary, comes a useful setting of the Offertory for Whitsunday. Confirtna hoc, Deus, by Dom Gregory Murray, in the style we have come to expect of him—smooth, wellwritten vocal lines, flattened leading-notes to the fore—but one could wish for more of the strength the words suggest (8d.). " SURELY you can't sit h-7 through the same film twice." people often say sceptically. My answer is that any movie worth seeing at all is worth seeing twice or better still three times; first to get the utmost out of it, second to lodge it in the memory. This is the great benefit of Classics and other revival cinemas which rescue past treasures that would otherwise be swept away on the tide of mass release. Nobody would expect to take in a syrnphony at a first sitting. Movies may seldom matter as much as musical compositions but they are at least as complicated.
So last week I promised to try to find space for more detailed recommendation of the season at the Everyman, Hampstead, of films by Robert Wesson. Bresson is one of the few great "fingers of two hands" directors in the world today. He is almost the only specifically Catholic great director.
There is just time (up to and including Easter Sunday) to take another look at his magnum opus "The Diary of a Country Priest", from the book by Bernanos. I have seen it four times and could, I'm sure, find almost as much again in