About this blogger:
A theorist, organist, and conductor, Jeff Ostrowski holds his B.M. in Music Theory from the University of Kansas (2004), and did graduate work in Musicology. He serves as choirmaster for the new FSSP parish in Los Angeles, where he resides with his wife and children.
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“As the subject of the language of worship was discussed in the Council hall over the course of several days, I followed the process with great attention, as well as later the various wordings of the Liturgy Constitution until the final vote. I still remember very well how after several radical proposals a Sicilian bishop rose and implored the fathers to allow caution and reason to reign on this point, because otherwise there would be the danger that the entire Mass might be held in the language of the people-whereupon the entire hall burst into uproarious laughter.”
— Alfons Cardinal Stickler, peritus of Vatican II

PDF Download: 1896 “Liber Usualis” • Extremely Rare
published 19 February 2015 by Jeff Ostrowski

252 Abbat Joseph Pothier HANKS to Margaret Coats—who generously loaned her copy for scanning—everyone in the world can finally download the 1896 “Liber Usualis” of Solesmes.

Starting in 2008, Watershed released a whole slew of books which remain of supreme importance to Gregorian scholars. Historic releases included such books as Mocquereau’s Liber Usualis (1904); Abbot Pothier’s Graduals & Antiphonary; Father Hermesdorff’s Graduale (both versions); and the Nova Organi Harmonia (Flor Peeters & Jules Van Nuffel). This 1896 book is not quite as significant as our 2008 releases, since much of it is contained in Pothier’s other books. On the other hand, it contains a tremendous amount of fascinating & rare chants:

      * *  PDF Download • 1896 “Liber Usualis” (1,479 pages)   {203MB}

If you’re like me, you will have a glorious time perusing this stupendous book. There’s no reason to describe it, since you can download the entire thing. However, I would mention:

1. The book was published in a very small format, which made it difficult to recognize morae vocis and angered Pope Pius X, who preferred the larger size of the Graduale.

2. The book contains many rare chants and especially local French feasts which seldom appear in any other book.

3. There is almost no artwork in the book, whereas Pothier’s 1884 Graduale had lush artwork. Most chants of the Temporale match Pothier’s earlier versions note-for-note.

4. The official title of the book above is:

Paroissien Romain
Contenant La Messe Et L’office Pour Tous Les Dimanches Et Fêtes Doubles
Chant Grégorien • Solesmes Imprimerie Saint-Pierre 1896
5. We are accustomed to the term Liber Usualis (“Useful Book”) which doesn’t translate very well. In fact, what the French call a “Paroissien Romain”—when it contains music—is very similar. They used many titles in those days, such as Manuale Missae et Officiorum . Most people don’t realize the Solesmes monastery published a special version of the Liber Usualis with complete English translations five years before the Second Vatican Council began. The reason nobody knows it has to do with the title (“Mass & Vespers”), which most people fail to recognize as the Liber Usualis.

The titles for this 1896 book are in French, but everything else is written in Latin:

255 Liber