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 lives with his wife and two children.
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"In the Orthodox Churches they have kept that pristine liturgy, so beautiful. We have lost a bit the sense of adoration. They keep, they praise God, they adore God, they sing, time doesn’t count. God is the center, and this is a richness …"
— Pope Francis (8/2/2013)

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.)


EQUAL VOICES : YouTube   •   Mp3 Audio

SOPRANO : YouTube   •   Audio

ALTO : YouTube   •   Audio

TENOR : YouTube   •   Audio

BASS : YouTube   •   Audio


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.