HomeIDEYA: Journal of Humanitiesvol. 2 no. 2 (2001)

From the Margins: The Case of Marcelo Adonay *

Elena Rivero Mirano

Discipline: Literature, Humanities



In March of I999, I found myself at a concert in San Agustin Church, Intramuros, Manila, that featured three extremely rare examples of nineteenth century liturgical music. As a student and enthusiast of Philippine music history, I came, prepared to be kind and accepting, given the usual character of rarely performed works. Thus, it came as something of a shock to have the first, sonorous strains of the "Pequena Misa Solemne sobre Motivos de la Misa Regia de Canto Gregoriano" by Marcelo Adonay cut through the ponderous silence echoing through the centuries-old church. The “Kyrie,” its gravity resonating with musical references to Henri Dumont's rennaisance mass in plainsong gave way to a jubilant "Gloria;' in vigorous villancico style with compound duple meter and moved on to the emotionally reflective "A gnus Dei;' that brought the work to an end. Expecting to hear a tentative work by an obscure supernumerary, I was confronted with mastery. Prepared to be charitable, I found myself humbled.