HAVE OFTEN said that only a lunatic would try to restore the official “pure” Editio Vaticana since the “Dom Mocquereau” rhythm has reigned supreme for 110 years. For one thing, there’s ambiguity about locating the mora vocis for a Virga which “commands” the notes around it. To learn more about that ambiguity, visit this page and scroll down to the section marked Invisible White Notes—then look for the section which speaks of an “unforgivable mistake.” Moreover, even the “pure” Editio Vaticana editions (inexplicably) don’t adhere to the official rhythm.
The first Alleluia from this morning is a case in point.
We begin with the “Dom Mocquereau” rhythm—which has not changed since 1908. Notice how they ignore the morae vocis where red arrows point:
The 1917 Schwann ought to adhere to the official rhythm. However, they fail to hold the “blue arrow” notes, which should be elongated since they are part of a neume. It sounds beautiful as they mark it, but it’s technically wrong:
Dr. Francis Xavier Mathias gets an A+ because he adheres perfectly to the official rhythm:
The 1953 Schwann editors (Abbot Urbanus Bomm, Karl Gustav Fellerer, and Msgr. Johannes Overath) claim to follow the “pure” Editio Vaticana rhythm—yet, they inexplicably tell the singer to ignore the moræ vocis…which is quite surprising!
As usual, the Nova Organi Harmonia matches the “pure” Editio Vaticana rhythm perfectly, although they rely on the organist to hold the “blue arrow” notes; that is to say, their method is to mark the morae with a single dot, even when the neume is to be elongated:
If you’re interested in this subject, feel free to read this 2008 article:
* PDF Download • Is The Editio Vaticana A Rhythmic Edition?
—2008 article by Jeff Ostrowski published in the Sacred Music Journal.
We end up right where we began: While it’s true the Solesmes editions contradict the Vaticana rhythm (and technically are not allowed), there is no edition that conforms perfectly to the official rhythm!