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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“In all this mediaeval religious poetry there is much that we could not use now. Many of the hymns are quite bad, many are frigid compositions containing futile tricks, puns, misinterpreted quotations of Scripture, and twisted concepts, whose only point is their twist. But there is an amazing amount of beautiful poetry that we could still use. If we are to have vernacular hymns at all, why do we not have translations of the old ones?”
— Fr. Adrian Fortescue (d. 1923)

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“Credo for Two Voices” • Gustaaf Nees (d. 1965)
published 15 February 2016 by Jeff Ostrowski

HE SOUND OF A MELODY sung in unison an octave apart was not admired by the ancients. Personally, I don’t care for it, so whenever my choir sings plainsong, either all the men sing or all the women sing—or they alternate. I’m sure others will disagree. (After all, we musicians disagree constantly; and we do so with passion!) For the record, I can tolerate that sonority under certain circumstances. 1

The following setting of the Nicene Creed adds a simple men’s countermelody:

    * *  PDF Download • CREDO IV FOR TWO VOICES — Gustaaf Nees (d. 1965)


We usually have a soloist sing the odd verses (starting with “Patrem omnipotentem”) and full choir sing the even verses (starting with “Et in unum Dominum”).

REHEARSAL VIDEOS :

EQUAL VOICES : YouTube   •   Mp3 Audio

WOMEN : YouTube   •   Audio

MEN : YouTube   •   Audio




NOTES FROM THIS ARTICLE:

1   For example, my ears can tolerate men & women singing plainsong an octave apart when a nice organ accompaniment is employed.