URING AN INTERVIEW, the pianist André Watts said something to the effect of: “When you walk on stage to perform, you must be absolutely convinced that your interpretation is the only correct one—the only valid one.” Searching amongst the various Pentecost Sequence organ accompaniments given below, we hope you can find the version which (in your heart of hearts) you believe is the best.
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Here’s the Pentecost Sequence in an English translation approved for liturgical use in the United States of America:
* PDF Download • “Veni Sancte Spiritus” (in English)
—PENTECOST SEQUENCE • English Translation with musical notes for singers.
* PDF Download • ORGAN ACCOMPANIMENT (in English)
—PENTECOST SEQUENCE • Organ accompaniment (English).
Version 1 of 18 :
Chaumonot Composers Group: This smooth version was sent to us, and I believe it’s the very best one. Their project is being lead by a former student of mine—and she seems to have been heavily influenced by the version in the Nova organi harmonia ad graduale juxta editionem vaticanam in her accompaniment:
* PDF Download • “Veni Sancte Spiritus” (Sequence)
—Posted with permission from the Chaumonot Composers Group.
Version 2 of 18 :
Father Green: Father Andrew Green (d. 1950) assisted Father Herman Koch with a 1942 collection called “Laudate Hymnal.” Dr. Horst Buchholz—Director of Sacred Music at the Cathedral and the Archdiocese of St. Louis—has expressed admiration for this hymnal, which uses many German melodies. Father Andrew was famous as a poet, musician, composer, author and teacher. He was part of St. Benedict’s Abbey in Atchison, Kansas.
Version 3 of 18 :
Dom Gregory Murray: Dom Andrew Gregory Murray (d. 1992) was a marvelous organist and composer who lived in England. Based on his many published attacks against Solesmes Abbey, he seems to have had quite an unpleasant personality. But his organ compositions are beautiful. Dom Gregory studied with Sir Richard Runciman Terry as a child, and later served as organist for Downside Abbey.
Version 4 of 18 :
Father Jones: Dr Percy Jones (d. 1992) was an Australian Catholic priest and musician who died the same year as Dom Gregory Murray. Father Jones compiled and edited The Australian Hymnal (1941) and The Hymnal of Blessed Pius X (1952). I believe the chord he chose for “tus” of et emítte caélitus sounds just awful—was he smoking crack when he composed that?
Version 5 of 18 :
Canon Van Nuffel: Father Jules Van Nuffel (d. 1953) was a Belgian priest, composer, and musicologist. Flor Peeters was his student. His crowning achievement was the creation of the Nova Organi Harmonia. This was an eight-volume collection of Gregorian accompaniments, composed by Canon Van Nuffel, along with Flor Peeters, Monsignor Jules Vyverman, Marinus de Jong, and other professors at the Lemmens Institute.
Version 6 of 18 :
Father Weber: Father Samuel F. Weber is a professed monk and priest of Saint Meinrad Archabbey, Indiana. In 2014, Father Weber published Hymnal for the Hours, which was reviewed by Daniel Craig. He has served as a seminary professor for forty-three years. Father Weber taught Jeff Ostrowski’s brother, who is a priest of the Archdiocese of Kansas City, Kansas.
Version 7 of 18 :
Dr. Marier: In 1934, Dr. Theodore Marier (d. 2001) began fifty-two years of musical service at The Church of St. Paul (Harvard Square) in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 1963, alongside Monsignor Augustine F. Hickey, he founded a choir school associated with the parish—“St. Paul’s Choir School”—and directed it until his retirement in 1986. During the 1950s, Marier was a faculty member of the Pius X School of Liturgical Music at Manhattanville College. In 1966, Marier was elected president of the Church Music Association of America. Dr. Marier produced a hymnal in the 1970s called “Hymns, Psalms, and Spiritual Canticles” which has been reviewed by Daniel Craig.
Version 8 of 18 :
Father Carlo Rossini: Father Carlo Rossini (d. 1975) had a long career at Saint Paul’s Cathedral (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania). Father Rossini composed 20 Masses, including his popular “Adeste fideles” Christmas Mass and his “Missa Solemnis,” which he wrote for his Golden Jubilee on 19 May 1963.
Version 9 of 18 :
Mr. Julius Bas: Julius Bas was engaged by Solesmes Abbey to compose accompaniments for the entire Editio Vaticana (“Vatican Edition”). He served as editor of the famous Rassegna Gregoriana.
Version 10 of 18 :
Dr. Peter Wagner: Dr. Peter Wagner (d. 1931) was a student of Father Michael Hermesdorff at Trier. If memory servers, Wagner’s dissertation was on the secular music of Palestrina. He founded a special school for the study of Gregorian chant at the University of Fribourg (Switzerland). His students included: Joseph Gogniat, Father Charles Dreisoerner, and Dr. Karl Gustav Fellerer.
Version 11 of 18 :
Father Franz Xaver Mathias: Dr. Mathias (d. 1939) was an Alsatian organist and composer who studied in Germany with Hugo Riemann. He was organist at the Strasbourg Cathedral (1898–1908). In 1913, Father Mathias founded “The Saint Leo Institute for Sacred Music.”
Version 13 of 18 :
Max Springer: Max Springer (d. 1954) was a German organist, composer, and music educator. In 1910 he published Organum comitans ad graduale parvum quod juxta Editionem Vaticanam. His organ accompaniments are quite bizarre, but supposedly represent what was done at the famous Beuron Archabbey:
Version 14 of 18 :
Dom Desroquettes: Dom Jean-Hébert Desroquettes (d. 1972) was organist at Solesmes Abbey (“Abbey of Saint-Pierre de Solesmes”). Here is something rather peculiar: Dom Desrocquettes died the same year as Henri Potiron died, and was born the same year as Achille P. Bragers was born.
Version 15 of 18 :
Achille P. Bragers: Achille P. Bragers studied at the Lemmens Institute (Belgium). He later taught at the Pius the Tenth School of Liturgical Music at Manhattanville College of the Sacred Heart in New York.
Version 17 of 18 :
Henri Potiron: Henri Potiron was choirmaster of Sacred Heart Basilica (Paris) and taught at the Gregorian Institute. He was friends with Dom Desrocquettes. I must say, the version of “Veni Sancte Spiritus” by Potiron is pretty awful.
Version 18 of 18 :
Dr. Eugène Lapierre: Canadian organist Dr. Lapierre (d. 1970) was the one who gave Roger Wagner his doctorate. In Paris, Lapierre studied with Vincent d’Indy (d. 1931), Marcel Dupré (d. 1971), Henri Potiron (d. 1972), and Dom Jean Hébert Desrocquettes (d. 1974). Of Potiron and Desrocquettes, Lapierre said: “These two eminent Gregorianists were my professors in Paris, and they remain my guides.”
Bonus version: Here is another harmonization:
* PDF Download • “Veni Sancte Spiritus” (Monsignor Nekes)
—Franz Nekes (d. 1914) was a Roman Catholic priest, composer, and conductor who worked in Aachen.
And here’s an organ accompaniment by Mr. Winfred Douglas:
* PDF Download • “Veni Sancte Spiritus” (Winfred Douglas)
—Mr. Winfred Douglas was a member of the Episcopal Church.
NOTES FROM THIS ARTICLE:
* For scholarly purposes, you may compare the 1981 version by Abbe Ferdinand Portier. In my humble opinion, his harmonization is very poorly done.