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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“The Jesuits have spoiled the work of Christian antiquity, under pretext of restoring the hymns in accordance with the laws of metre and elegant language.”
— M. Ulysse Chevalier (1891)

PDF Download • Kyrie “O Magnum Mysterium”
published 18 December 2017 by Jeff Ostrowski

ACK in 2015, I created individual rehearsal videos for “O Magnum Mysterium,” and tens of thousands have downloaded them. But the season of Christmas is often short, and that motet can’t be sung at other times of the year. Can we keep singing it? Well, let’s remember that—twenty years after composing “O Magnum Mysterium”—Fr. Tomás Luis de Victoria wrote an entire Mass based on that motet. In my opinion, this setting fits the Sundays after Epiphany well.

Earlier today, I recorded the KYRIE (#3595).

But please pardon my screechy soprano notes!

REHEARSAL VIDEOS for each individual voice await you at #3595.

Download the PDF by following the #3595 link provided above.

Did you notice how Victoria adds variety?

First Point of Imitation: Soprano, Alto, Tenor Bass

Second Point of Imitation: Bass, Tenor, Alto, Soprano

Final Point of Imitation: Tenor, Soprano, Alto, Bass

Something to which we dedicated much time in musicology graduate school was “text underlay.” This incredibly complex subject becomes even more so when we understand that printers sometimes changed the composer’s underlay. Examining the original part books, 1 we often see the underlay as “Ky-rie”—and some have argued that it was pronounced as two syllables. I took this into consideration toward the end of the piece.

We will probably do a Mass by Victoria at the Sacred Music Symposium this coming June, but at this time nothing official has been released.


1   I really hope you’ll download the PDF, because I included an example from 1592AD.