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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Essentially the Missal of St. Pius V is the Gregorian Sacramentary; that again is formed from the Gelasian book which depends on the Leonine collection. We find the prayers of our Canon in the treatise “De Sacramentis” and allusions to it in the 4th century. So our Mass goes back, without essential change, to the age when it first developed out of the oldest liturgy of all. It is still redolent of that liturgy, of the days when Caesar ruled the world and thought he could stamp out the faith of Christ, when our fathers met together before dawn and sang a hymn to Christ as to a God. The final result of our enquiry is that, in spite of unsolved problems, in spite of later changes, there is not in Christendom another rite so venerable as ours.
— Fr. Adrian Fortescue (d. 1923)

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Staggering Canonic Setting • “Gloria” from Mass III
published 14 January 2016 by Jeff Ostrowski

HEN ABBOT POTHIER published the Editio Vaticana circa 1910, his work had a profound influence on composers like Claude Debussy, Nadia Boulanger, Marcel Dupré, Louis Vierne, Gabriel Fauré, Jean Langlais, and Camille Saint-Saëns. Famously, Maurice Duruflé was influenced by the Vaticana rhythmic markings of Solesmes—and he was not alone. Raphaël Mercier’s treatment of the vertical episemata in his ingenious (yet relatively simple) setting shows the influence of Solesmes:

    * *  PDF Download • “CANONIC GLORIA III” — (SATB Choir Score)

Organists will use this score.


Do you see how Mercier took the melodies of “Gloria III” and brilliantly combined them into canons? I was so impressed, I created rehearsal videos to help amateur choirs. (Please pardon the soprano notes—I did the best I could.)

REHEARSAL VIDEOS :

EQUAL VOICES : YouTube   •   Mp3 Audio

SOPRANO : YouTube   •   Audio

ALTO : YouTube   •   Audio

TENOR : YouTube   •   Audio

BASS : YouTube   •   Audio



NOTES FROM THIS ARTICLE:

1   This setting by Mercier came from a rare collection of Church music by Roman Catholic composers in France. At some point, I’d like to scan the entire thing and post it online—but many of the pages are in pretty bad shape and it’s missing the first 50+ pages. The manuscript appears to be handwritten (possibly a lithograph) and I’m told “in house” collections were common for cathedrals during of that time. Fr. Adrian Fortescue gave his organist scores written by hand, and I believe the Birmingham Oratory routinely used handwritten scores, which frequently were (eventually) printed for the general public.