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THE MASSES OF Seán and Peadar ÓRiada EXPLORATIONS IN VERNACULAR CHANT THE MASSES OF Seán and Peadar Ó Riada EXPLORATIONS IN VERNACULAR CHANT JOHN O’KEEFFE JOHN O’KEEFFE S eán Ó Riada’s mass, Ceol an Aifrinn, containing such iconic settings as ‘Ár nAthair’, ‘Is Naofa’ and ‘Ag Críost an síol’, emerged at a crucial historical juncture when Irish people were, under Ó Riada’s own considerable influence, beginning to rediscover the dignity of their native musical tradition, and the Catholic Church, following Vatican II, was beginning to explore the liturgical potential of vernacular languages and cultures. Written for the Irish-speaking community of Cúil Aodha in west Cork, it was to be the first of three Ó Riada masses which drew on a rich oral song tradition. This study, published in the fiftieth anniversary year of the Vatican II instruction Musicam Sacram, examines in detail the contents of Ceol an Aifrinn, together with those of the composer’s Aifreann 2 (written for the Benedictines at Glenstal Abbey) and Aifreann Eoin na Croise, written by his son, Peadar Ó Riada. The material is considered from the following perspectives: as emanating from a living culture of native traditional song; as part of a historical continuum of monophonic liturgical composition for the Roman rite; as part of a broader aesthetic context of text-music relationships found in the repertoires of plainchant, medieval song and folksong; and finally, as part of the new liturgical reality brought about by the reforms of Vatican II. Thebookassessestheachievementsofbothcomposers,measuring their work against the heritage, discipline and compositional principles of western plainchant, and heralding its significance as a model for contemporary vernacular liturgical music. JOHN O’KEEFFE is Director of Sacred Music at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth and Director of Choral Groups at Maynooth University, Ireland. 9 781782 052357 ISBN 978-1-78205-235-7 www.corkuniversitypress.com Cover image: The Taking of Christ, Book of Kells, Fol 114r, reproduced by kind permission of the Board of Trinity College, Dublin Jacket by Studio 10 Design THE MASSES OF Seán and Peadar ÓRiada EXPLORATIONS IN VERNACULAR CHANT THE MASSES OF Seán and Peadar Ó Riada EXPLORATIONS IN VERNACULAR CHANT JOHN O’KEEFFE JOHN O’KEEFFE S eán Ó Riada’s mass, Ceol an Aifrinn, containing such iconic settings as ‘Ár nAthair’, ‘Is Naofa’ and ‘Ag Críost an síol’, emerged at a crucial historical juncture when Irish people were, under Ó Riada’s own considerable influence, beginning to rediscover the dignity of their native musical tradition, and the Catholic Church, following Vatican II, was beginning to explore the liturgical potential of vernacular languages and cultures. Written for the Irish-speaking community of Cúil Aodha in west Cork, it was to be the first of three Ó Riada masses which drew on a rich oral song tradition. This study, published in the fiftieth anniversary year of the Vatican II instruction Musicam Sacram, examines in detail the contents of Ceol an Aifrinn, together with those of the composer’s Aifreann 2 (written for the Benedictines at Glenstal Abbey) and Aifreann Eoin na Croise, written by his son, Peadar Ó Riada. The material is considered from the following perspectives: as emanating from a living culture of native traditional song; as part of a historical continuum of monophonic liturgical composition for the Roman rite; as part of a broader aesthetic context of text-music relationships found in the repertoires of plainchant, medieval song and folksong; and finally, as part of the new liturgical reality brought about by the reforms of Vatican II. Thebookassessestheachievementsofbothcomposers,measuring their work against the heritage, discipline and compositional principles of western plainchant, and heralding its significance as a model for contemporary vernacular liturgical music. JOHN O’KEEFFE is Director of Sacred Music at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth and Director of Choral Groups at Maynooth University, Ireland. 9 781782 052357 ISBN 978-1-78205-235-7 www.corkuniversitypress.com Cover image: The Taking of Christ, Book of Kells, Fol 114r, reproduced by kind permission of the Board of Trinity College, Dublin Jacket by Studio 10 Design ...


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