M Corpus Christi Watershed is pleased
M to offer the following guest article
M by Mr. Brian Michael Page:
OUR YEARS AGO, I completed PSALM 151, a collection (957 pages) of Propers for the Sundays and major feasts of the Church Year. This work was over 32 years in the making. In the mid 1980s and into the 1990s, PSALM 151 was merely a collection of Responsorial Psalms for Sundays and feasts, and its exposure was basically limited to the whatever parish I was employed at in illo temprore. The collection has grown. I’ve added ALLELUIAS (mostly based on known chants according to season) and their Lenten replacements, simply dubbed “Alleluias and Gospel Acclamations.” You can find that collection still within my website: Christus Vincit Music.
Brief Overview: As of May, 2018, this work is complete! Many of the Psalms were updated, a good chunk of them re-written with chant melodies, and with standard Psalm tones with optional SATB endings. I’ve also added Introits, Graduals, the aforementioned Alleluias, Offertories, and Communions. Most of these are in the form of responsories. In the case of many of the longer antiphons (namely those from the Graduale Romanum), there is a portion of the antiphon in the people’s response, and the remainder is a versicle for the cantor or choir.
* PDF Download • “PSALM 151” (957 pages)
—Includes the scores, and parts for the congregation.
The Style Of These Pieces: While most of the material is chant-based—or at least “chant-like”—there are some metrical responses as well, and some even based on metrical hymn-tunes (e.g. In Der Ist Freude). Some material includes parts for brass and timpani. There is also an Ave Maria (Offertory for IV Advent and the Annunciation) which I wrote when I was “barely old enough to drink,” which includes parts for a string quartet. I also included “Parce, Dómine” for Ash Wednesday, based on one of the antiphons for the Imposition of Ashes, which includes verses of Psalm 51 (50) adapted to the Mode I chant.
My Influences: Other extra music includes choral options for the Easter and Pentecost sequences, a simplified version of the chant “Gloria, Laus, et Honor” with the English hymn text “All Glory, Laud, and Honor,” great for processions from locations that begin outside the church. One could safely say that the writings show influences ranging from Theodore Marier to Alexander Peloquin.
Impact Of These Pieces: Since I released PSALM 151, the work has gradually gained exposure. I personally have heard well-executed renditions of (at the very least) the Responsorial Psalms on YouTube from Boston to San Francisco. In fact, for the past year or two, one parish in particular, St. Stephen Martyr in Washington, DC, has been using the Responsorial Psalms from this project regularly.
The Future of Psalm 151: I am working on a huge update, the Christus Vincit Gradual, which will add weekday Propers to the mix, as well as updated versions of much of the PSALM 151 material. Some of those updated versions include a couple of Advent offertories in the form of hymns from traditional sources (and using my own tunes), as well as some updated original Psalm tones. I am also restoring some of my older responses, including one for III Advent C (Isaiah 12), which also includes a juicy organ fanfare to let Gaudete Sunday live up to its name. PSALM 151 will remain on the site. There will be a planning guide that will support both PSALM 151 and the forthcoming Christus Vincit Gradual.
Personal Note: Special thanks to all who have supported my project over the last few years, especially Mr. Luke Massery. God bless.