Over at Argent by the Tiber, there’s some great music available, starting with a piece by Maurice Duruflé, a french composer who wrote beautiful sacred polyphony in just this last century. But I encourage you to check out Argent’s recent posts, both today and throughout the last week, as the music is beautiful.
But before you head over there, a bit more on Duruflé and sacred polyphony in general. The first works of sacred polyphony grew out of Gregorian Chant. If you listen to the Miserere by Palestrina, or say, the Missa Pange lingua from Josquin Després, it’s pretty easy to hear this. Another beautiful mass that grew out of a plainchant hymn is the Missa Aeterna Christi also by Palestrina.
Duruflé was echoing this tradition when he wrote his Variations des themes gregoriens several hundred years later, one of the most beautiful of which is his Ubi Caritas, as heard here:
If you like Duruflé, you should also check out Francis Poulenc, another French composer of the 20th century. Finally, all of the music mentioned here is available for purchase from iTunes So be legal… (I recommend the Westminster Cathedral Choir recording of Missa Aeterna Christi Munera especially).