OW THAT CHOIRS are beginning to return—since the government is starting to lift the harsh Covid-19 restrictions they imposed—many directors are looking for pieces to “start out with.” Many great composers wrote settings of the KYRIE ELEYSON in three movements, but did you know it’s not required to sing all three movements at first? We often learn the third movement first, adding a plainsong “Christe” in the middle until we learn the other parts. That makes it: (A) polyphonic Kyrie; (B) plainsong Christe; (C) repeat polyphonic Kyrie. Needless to say, as soon as possible we learn the missing movements.
Here’s section 1 of 3:
* PDF Download • Part 1 of 3
—We sing the first section, then a plainsong “Christe,” then repeat the polyphonic section.
Rehearsal videos for each individual voice await you at #63627. Notice you have to scroll all the way to the bottom of that page. When I finish all three movements, it will be moved to the top.
Teach Your Choirs This :
This little movement is an excellent way to demonstrate how polyphonic composers based their settings on Gregorian chant. Here is “Kyrie IX” (a.k.a. In Festis Beatæ Mariæ Virginis). Notice the shape of the melody:
In his polyphonic setting of Missa De Beata Virgine II (composed in 1582AD), Guerrero masterfully uses that “motif” or “thema” or “subject”—whatever you want to call it:
My choir sang the first section very well — now they are eager to learn the other sections! Please stay tuned.