E HAVE HAD MUCH TO SAY regarding accompaniment for plainsong. When it’s done well, it enhances the beauty of the chant—but only for certain modes (Mode 8, Mode 7, Mode 1, and so on). But for certain modes, I feel accompaniment is deleterious (e.g. Mode 5). Below is one of my favorite Gregorian chant hymns for Christmas: “Puer Natus In Bethlehem, Alleluia.” I see that Achille P. Bragers has written an accompaniment for it, but I strongly endorse singing it a cappella—I can’t really explain why.
* PDF Download • MUSICAL SCORE
—Taken from “Mass & Vespers” (Abbey of Solesmes, 1957).
* Mp3 Download • Recording By Monks
—Dom Gajard worked with these monks, and the “sound” reflects his influence.
My choir sings the men in unison (starting on D-Natural) and adds the women (singing in their low register)—on odd verses—a perfect fifth above—and it sounds incredible.
It’s a medieval Latin Christmas hymn whose text and melody seems to date from around 1350AD.
By the way, “Mass and Vespers” (Solesmes Abbey, 1957) was created by French-speakers, and sometimes it shows. Look how they hyphenate the word “house” in stanza #8.