OM PAUL JAUSIONS and Dom Joseph Pothier were both ordained priests in 1858. These two monks were the ones who restored plainson: the authentic rhythm, the true musical pitches (“tones”), and the “type-fonts” of the traditional notation. Both of them spent hours copying ancient Gregorian manuscripts—both diastematic and adiastematic—carefully by hand, and both were quite adept at this. On a trip to America in 1870, Dom Jausions died in Indiana at the age of 36. Anyone who wants to learn about the “early history” of Gregorian chant should obtain The Restoration of Gregorian Chant: Solesmes and the Vatican Edition, which was published in the 1960s by Dom Pierre Combe. A wonderful English translation was published in 2003 by Father Robert Skeris and Dr. Theodore Marier (who died before the project was finished). The very first serious book they created together was called “Directorium Chori.” Dom Pierre Combe wrote as follows: “The Directorium Chori of 1864 was the first book of the Gregorian restoration at Solesmes, and even, it can be said, of the Gregorian restoration anywhere.” Unfortunately, Dom Prosper Guéranger (d. 1875) delayed the distribution of the Directorium chori, and the entire edition, except for a few rare copies (only four), was destroyed in a fire at the Vatar Printing Company around 1866.
Here are two pages of this extremely rare book:
For a first attempt, it’s quite gorgeous—although Solesmes would continue to improve over the next 100 years. The most beautiful book Solesmes ever produced was probably the ANTIPHONALE OF 1949, which was reprinted circa 1961. In this “Directorium Chori” of 1864, the fonts are slightly too small. Also, they use the “æ” ligature, whereas in later publications they would always use “ae.”
The “shocking” feature of this publication was the fact that no Virga was placed above the accented syllables, as corrupt editions did. Consider this corrupt edition from 1858:
Some authors attribute the composition of the Directorium chori to “Dom Jausions, with the collaboration of Dom Pothier.”