ANY TIMES we have spoken about various items which must be considered before the organist decides on a particular plainsong accompaniment. The choir members matter; the acoustics matter; the director matters; the type of organ matters; and so forth. Flor Peeters—organist at Saint Rumbold’s Cathedral in Belgium—often served as faculty for the famous church music gatherings held at Boys Town (Nebraska) during the summers. When he wrote his Method of Accompanying Plainsong, Baron Peeters was careful to state clearly: “By no means do we claim that the method of accompaniment here set forth is the only true and correct one.” He then gives several examples of what he calls other good systems. Some omit the melody, some are based on quartal and quintal harmonies, and so on.
“Bold” Accompaniment • One example he provides is this accompaniment for Kyrie VIII … and it’s pretty wild. Readers will remember that the KYRIE ELEISON—when sung—has a total of nine invocations. I wasn’t brave enough to use the Peeters accompaniment for the entire thing, so I used it on number 3, number 6, and number 9. Our choir is on break during the summer, but some young ladies came to Mass and sang anyway. See what you think:
The Same Day • On that same occasion, the group sang Hymn #816 from the Brébeuf hymnal, which is called: “Lord Jesus Christ, of Joys and Treasures Rarest.” The text is by Father Dominic Popplewell, FSSP, and the tune is RAYMBAULT. This is an abridged version:
I recently wrote an article vis-à-vis the RAYMBAULT hymn melody.