Chapter

For the First Time(s) in Cathedral History (1998– )

Salvatore Basile

in Fifth Avenue Famous

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print May 2010 | ISBN: 9780823231874
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823234929 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fso/9780823231874.003.0008
For the First Time(s) in             Cathedral History (1998– )

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Whatever had befallen the music department of St. Patrick's Cathedral, its members could point with pride to the fact that their music had been led by a succession of only six men in more than a century—a serene contrast to the erratic histories of the music in many other Manhattan churches. And in the sadness of John-Michael Caprio's farewell, as well as the death-vigil atmosphere that had overlaid Midnight Mass, members of the Cathedral's choir had nevertheless been able to find a measure of comfort. Their leadership was in the hands of a man who knew them personally, knew their routine, and whose competence was beyond question. A sobering feature of liturgical music, no matter where it occurs or when, is that the liveliest and most painstakingly built program will last exactly as long as its director. John West had seen fit to honor the plans of Caprio; but after West was gone, there was no guarantee that his musical vision would continue. It didn't. In only four years, three musical directors came and went.

Keywords: liturgical music; St. Patrick's Cathedral; John-Michael Caprio; choir; John West; music directors

Chapter.  12943 words. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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