Wednesday, January 19, 2011. 3:15 - 4:30 pm

Back to the Future: Recreating Historic Liturgies
by Douglas Cowling, MA - Musical Dramaturge for the Tallis Choir



Many early music ensembles now recreate the musical sequence of historic liturgies. Concert audiences can hear the masterpieces of Western music in the context for which they were written. But what do these experiments tell liturgists about the cultural forces which gave liturgies their particular shape at a particular moment in history?  This illustrated seminar will discuss recent concert reconstructions of two contrasting liturgies: a Venetian high mass from 1605 with the music of Gabrieli, and a festival Lutheran mass from 1745 Leipzig with the music of J.S. Bach. The results challenge many assumptions about Counter-Reformation and Lutheran worship.

Douglas Cowling is a writer, musician and educator in Toronto who has written on the relationship between medieval liturgy and English religious drama. He is the co-author of Sharing the Banquet: Liturgical Renewal in Your Parish and a contributor to Let Us Keep the Feast. He edited two collections of global music for liturgical use in Let Us Make Music Together, and his own music has been published by CHC in the USA. His children’s symphony show, Tchaikovsky Discovers America was recently performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra. He is Director of Music at St. Philip’s Church, Etobicoke, and musical dramaturge for the Tallis Choir of Toronto.