Guadalupe, Virgen de Los Indios, a compact disc produced by lago/Talking Taco Music, Inc., of San Antonio, Texas; total time: 40 minutes; price: $16.95; mailing: Iago Music, P.O. Box 781211, San Antonio, TX, 78278 (catalogue of Iago Latino music is available without charge). The San Antonio Vocal Arts Ensemble (SAVAE) has created a unique and distinctive musical treat for those millions of devotees to "Guadalupe, Virgen de Los Indios" and the music that has been composed in her honor. The ensemble blends it's seven voices with traditional wind and percussion instruments common to the Aztecs, to create eighteen tracks of music that are a spellbinding fusion of Renaissance and Spanish Colonial musical styles. Many of the pieces were transcribed from original cathedral archival manuscripts of the sixteenth century. Composers such as Tomás Pascual, Francisco López Capillas, Don Antonio Valeriano, Manuel de Zumaya, and Don Hernando Franco are included. All were among the first Latin American born composers to master European music styles. Especially appealing is Zumaya's "Al prodigio mayor," written for the 1790 dedication of the Guadalupe Basilica at Tepeyac. Ensemble voices are combined with ancient Mexican percussion instruments and reproductions of pre-Columbian flutes. These comprise the Aztec double flute, clay flute, small ocarina, log drum, tall drum, small clay drum, stones, rainsticks, and an assortment of rattles and shakers. The rhythmic patterns are adapted from the 16th century Canticos Mexicanos. "Guadalupe, Virgen de Los Indios" is both an acoustical and spiritual experience. SAVAE made it's debut in December 1989 with a concert in San Antonio's historic San Fernando Cathedral. Live performances of SAVE have been featured on National Public Radio's Performance Today. Host Martin Goldsmith recently referred to the group saying, "they are perhaps best known for their performances of the music from New Spain. They have a hot CD called 'Native Angels' which is chock full of unique music." Don Toomey
Seven Last Words From The Cross And Cantos Sagrados, composed by James MacMillan, produced under the CATALYST Label by BMG Music, New York; total time: 67:56; price: $16.98, ISBN 09026-68125-2. Devotees of sacred choral music will be most impressed with these two offerings by the Scottish Catholic composer James MacMillan (born 1959), one of todays most renowned composers of sacred music MacMillan's "Seven Last Words from the Cross" (45:38) is a cantata for choir and string orchestra composed in 1993 for a commission by BBC Television. It was first performed in seven nightly segments during Holy Week 1994. The premier performance was by the Cappella Nova and the BT Scottish Ensemble under the direction of Alan Tavener, another sacred music composer of distinction. The text of the 'Seven Last Words from the Cross" is based on MacMillan's compilation of all four gospels forming a sequential presentation highlighting the last seven sentences uttered by Christ. Those comprise: 'Father, forgive them they know not what they do (St Luke); 'Woman, Behold thy Son! Behold thy Mother (St Luke); 'Verily, I say unto thee, today thou shalt be with me 'in Paradise" (St Luke); 'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me" (St Matthew and St Luke); 'I thirst (St John); "It is finished" (St John); Father, into Thy hands I commend my Spirit" (St Luke). "Cantos Sagrados" for choir and organ (22:07) was composed in 1989, and is of an entirely different genre. The songs are based on the texts of three poems by Latin American poets. Two by the poet Ariel Dorfman are concerned with political repression in Latin America, they are "Identity" and "Sun Stone," and represent for MacMillan his sincere interest in Liberation Theology. The third song "Virgin of Guadalupe" is the text of a poem by Ana Maria Mendoza and asks a more fundamental cultural and historical question, in part with these lines: Sweet Virgin of Guadalupe, Oh Virgin of the gentle eyes, dark- eyed virgin, my girl, my love, I want to ask you this question, dear mother. Why is it that in Spain, on the far side of our hills and valleys across the sea. Why is there another Virgin of Guadalupe patron saint of the Conquerors men with great beards, men on horses, men with swords and fire who crush and burn our homes, and the Indians, your children, still inside? Why is it, Sweet Virgin sweet mother, Why is there another Virgin of Guadalupe "Patroness of the Conqueror?" Don Toomey
Bernadette, a 45 minute documentary video on the life of St. Bernadette of Lourdes and Nevers, France (1997), produced by Dan Paulos of the St. Bernadette Institute of Sacred Art, P. 0. Box 8249, Albuquerque, NM 87198-8249, Tel. (505) 265-9126, Fax (505) 266-4678. $19.95 +postage. This inspiring video was produced by the renowned silhouette artist Dan Paulos, Director of the St. Bernadette Institute Of Sacred Art, as an integral part of the institute's overall mission to artistically reveal God's gifts of love and compassion to the faithful. This documentary film briefly and faithfully depicts the life of the young Bernadette whose eyes exchanged glances with the Mother of God. The video carries the viewer on a guided tour to the sacred sites of Lourdes and Nevers, France, all interwoven with Bernadette's simple history. For those already included in Bernadette's friendship the film serves as a reminder for others to petition her prayers and intercessions. As Dan Paulos says, "In times of mortal discouragement, it will uplift the spirit and unite our spiritual joys with those of this special saint - patroness of all who suffer." Hopefully this video will inspire viewers to follow Bernadette's example to find peace of heart and mind, even in the midst of chaos. Don Toomey
Fray Angélico Chávez: Poet Priest and Artist edited by ElIen McCracken. 2000, University of New Mexico Press, hardback, $24.95, ISBN 0-8263-2007-4, 156 pages, B/W photos Father Tom Steele recently told us that Fray Chávez was possibly New Mexico's most important historian, Everyone wit have an opinion but it could be argued that Chávez was also a renaissance man in his various loves of art research, history, poetry, genealogy, restoration, fiction, nonfiction and his day job as a friar. For those who want to team more about this extraordinary man, this book will help put it all in perspective. This is a collection of essays by fellow historians like Marc Simmons, Tom Steele, Luis Leal, Mario Garcia and others on specific topics of importance. The book ends with a talk given by Dr. Tom Chávez, three days after his uncle's death at a Latin American Studies meeting held in Santa Fe. There is renewed interest in the historical importance of the religious pioneers of New Mexico. Chávez was certainly a monumental figure and this book is a easy way to get into his head and heart. For those of us who never met him, we wish we had. Barbe Awalt
The Contested Homeland: A Chicano History of New Mexico edited by Erlinda Gonzales-Berry and David R. Maciel. 2000, University of New Mexico Press. Paperback 0-8263-2199-2, $19.95, 314 pages, B/W photos It is a relatively new movement in New Mexico to have history analyzed and written about by Hispanic scholars. Sure, there were periodic pieces done from the beginning but lately there is a large and respected group of scholars who are trying to give the other side of the historic picture, This book is a collection of essays - 12 in all - by scholars such as: John Nieto Phillips, Carlos Herrera, Anselmo Arellano, the editors and others. It covers a wide range of topics like: santos, contemporary writers, Mexican immigration, the Spanish language, occupation, Old Town, and, of course, the Chicano movement in New Mexico. It is an interesting perspective on history and the results of historical events. It is sure to be used as a text in many classrooms but it is also a source of personal information. The book also talks about current newsmakers, especially politicians and their role A must for the well-rounded historian Barbe Awalt
Southwest Flavor: Recipes and Stories from New Mexico Magazine by Adela Amador 2000, New Mexico Magazine 128 pages, color illustration, Spiral bound, ISBN 0-937206-61 -X, $9.95. This could be one of the best cookbooks we have seen on New Mexican cuisine It is simple, inexpensive, easy to use in the kitchen and all of the best recipes are included. It is organized in an informal, seasonal way: wind, winter, Lent, new year and along food lines with chile, roots, staples, spices, tamales, and breakfast. There are no fancy color pictures but the recipes are easy to follow and have a nice essay about the context of the foods in each chapter. There are old favorites and new variations. There is a glossary of terms. Adela Amador has been writing for New Mexico Magazine since 1993. This would make the perfect holiday gift with a bag of dried posole, chile, beans and other New Mexican staples. Barbe Await
One Book Two Reviews
Archbishop Lamy: In His Own Words, edited and translated by Thomas J. Steele, S.J., LPD Press Albuquerque, 2000. 286 pages, 7 photographs. ISBN 1-890689-04-1, $39.95 cloth. The Complete Sermons of Jean Baptiste Lamy. Fifty Years of Sermons (1837-1886), LPD Press 1- 890689-20-3 $29.95 CD-ROM. Thank you, Father Steele, for your excellent book clarifying, among other things, the fiction in novelist Willa Cather's Death Comes for the Archbishop. Her novel has caused untold harm because readers have believed the book to be historically accurate and quote from it as fact when in fact its a novel, as you carefully point out.
There are two popular views of Bishop Jean Baptiste Lamy. Both views are based on the great-man interpretation of history that says some individuals make history happen and deserve all the praise - or the blame. The first view which lasted until about 1960 saw the church history of New Mexico as a positive tale of happy progress. Lamy, although French born, seems during those years to be an infallible New Mexican. The negative second view has asked where the land-and-person-and-community-centered Hispanic culture of the olden days has gone; who is to blame for its disappearance, you ask It follows, you say, that because he got so much of the credit for New Mexico's happy days, he has gotten the lion's share of the blame resulting from the same sense of loss, including his insensitive suspensions of several Hispanic priests from their priestly duties. Father Steele speaks volumes when he quotes UNM professor Tony Mares in his portrayal of the famous Padre Martínez from Taos muttering, 'Esa mujer, esa mujer! - that woman!" referring to Willa Cather who put horns on the good Padre based on the questionable opinions of Father Joseph Machebeuf, assistant to Bishop Lamy and no friend of the Hispanic priests. The first part of the book presents a chronology of events in Bishop Lamy's life. The second part relates to the prelates question of identity and character, followed by some 35 selected sermons which Father Steele collected that offer insights into the Bishop's inner being and his spiritual make-up and beliefs. Willa Cather portrayed him as the shepherd of the flock ready to protect the flock at all costs, including the recruitment of French priests in his native France to replace the Hispanic priests he was suspending from their duties in New Mexico. Willa Cather by her own admission "fell in love" with the Bishop while studying his bronze statue in front of St Francis Cathedral, sanctified him and elevated him to the high heavens while vilifying the others, especially Padres Martínez and Gallegos. All in all Father Tom Steele has written a balanced book giving readers accurate material on which to base their own conclusion. Hopefully, as we proceed to the future, more readers will recognize Death Comes for the Archbishop as a romance novel rather than historical fact Archbishop Lamy: In His Own Words shows the real and spiritual Lamy, and not the fictional Bishop Latour. Abe M. Peña
All of us who have read Willa Cather's Death Comes for the Archbishop, remember her Archbishop Latour is the historical Archbishop Jean Baptiste Lamy. "Fictionalized, of course, we say to ourselves, 'but still what a wise and sensitive person he must have been" Wrong! There is a greater gap between Latour and Lamy than we had guessed. Should that bother us? It bothers many devotees of Southwest Studies, especially specialists in the history of New Mexico. It particularly bothers Father Thomas Steele, familiar to many of us as teacher, scholar, and thoughtful interpreter of religious life in the area. In this book, Steele firmly, but with gentle good humor, sets the record straight by presenting Lamy 'in his own words" from a rich collection of sermons and talks, and by contrasting personality traits of Latour (and Cather) with those of Lamy. In effect there are two distinct projects at work here: The first is the discussion of the manner in which Cather's fictional stereotype "has muddled the waters of New Mexican history" and the careful attempt to delineate the differences of fictionally constructed Latour and literally reconstructed Lamy with the use of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. The second is the presentation in historical and theological context of a significant selection of Lamy's sermons and talks. The two projects fit together well but one does wonder whether each is really necessary to the other. The second may be essential to the first but one might wonder if the first is that essential to the second. Both parts are fascinating; however, and the effect is to inform and intrigue the reader. The first third of the book is Steele's own suggestive and enlightening writing. He provides a concise chronology of Lamy's life and work then clarifies the contrast between Cather's Latour and Lamy. Chapter 3, the longest and most helpful to the general reader, provides the theological and historical background for Lamy's preaching. Chapter 4 shifts back to the contrast specifically in terms of Myers-Briggs. Chapter 5 picks up from Chapter 3 with a nice short introduction to traditional modes of "spiritual" reading of scripture to further prepare for the sermonic texts that comprise the rest of the book. Chapter 4, Lamy's Psychological Profile," is the core of the project of contrast. Steele argues that Lamy fits best the Guardian profile among the Myers-Briggs options. This profile entails four traits, Extrovert ("talks in order to think; energized by being with people; ready to accept challenges; accessible; companionable"), Sensor ("prefers traditional procedures; patiently tames, organizes, makes productive"), Thinker ("principled reasoning; dutiful in advising and reprimanding others; guardian of the past; cool and scholarly; outcome oriented"), and Judger ("step-by-step planning; good at delegating authority; perfectionist; legalistic disciplinarian"). This sounds like any successful cleric. But it does indeed contrast with the traits of Cather's Latour, who is not Extrovert but Introvert ("thinks in order to talk, refined, reserved, solitary, aloof; introspective; private"), not a Sensor but Intuitive ("visionary; aesthetic, artistic; imaginative and creative; future-oriented"), and who combines traits of Thinker with Feeler ("empathetic, compassionate; sensitive to others feelings; process-oriented"). Steele wryly notes that one might find the same traits dominant in Cather's own personality. One can question the legitimacy of such typal systems and their posthumous application, but Steele makes a strong case for the Guardian profile both in his analysis of passages from the sermons and as explanatory factors in major episodes in Lamy's career - the Christmas pastoral on tithing, conflicts involving Fathers Juan Felipe Ortiz, Joseph Machebeuf, and Antonio José Martínez, and the issue of the Penitentes. In all, it is a readable well-argued case, which introduces valuable material from Lamy's own hand. A CD-ROM with the complete sermons is also available from the publisher. Joseph Pickle, Professor of Religion, Colorado College
Las Posadas: An Hispanic Christmas Celebration, by Diane Hoyt-Goldsmith with photographs by Lawrence Migdale. 1999, Holiday House, paperback, ISBN 0-8234-1635-6, $6.95, 32 pages in color. We knew nothing about this book. Never were sent a press release. We found this in the kid's book section of Bookworks when we were looking for Christmas presents. What a little gem! And what a nice showcase for the Felix López family. This is a great book to explain Las Posadas, a New Mexico holiday tradition. It also puts the traditions of the Hispanic family is context. The text is written for an older child but adults will like the information too. The book seems to involve a great many parishioners of La Iglesia de Santa Cruz de la Cañada Church in Santa Cruz, New Mexico, just outside of Española. It contains a glossary, songs, recipes, and how to hold a Posada. It is a wonderful gift or for collectors of the López family's work, a documentation of a number of their pieces. Barbe Awalt
First published in Tradicion Revista, Volume 5, No. 4, Winter 2000.
Copyright 2000. May not be reproduced in any form without written permission.