HE FAMOUS “Mass of the Angels” (Missa de Angelis) often gets a bum rap. It’s certainly the most well-known Mass, and in the 19th century missions, it was sung in Iroquoian. People usually condemn it as being “too reminiscent modern tonality.” Even Dr. Peter Wagner placed it in the category of cantus recentiores. In reality, however, the Kyrie comes from the 1300s. The Sanctus and Agnus Dei are fairly ancient, too. They appear to be ‘contrafact’ settings of O Quam Suavis Est. (At the end of this article, I show some examples of that antiphon.) Anyone who’s skeptical is invited to examine this color-coded chart.
My Favorite Harmonization • Inspired by the great Flor Peeters, I have written an accompaniment for Kyrie VIII. In general, I move the bass-line downwards (stepwise) as the melody in the soprano rises. I hope you like it:
* PDF Download • Kyrie VIII (Jeff Ostrowski)
—Kyrie from “Missa de Angelis” harmonized by Jeffrey Ostrowski.
Here’s the direct URL link.
That recording was made yesterday, which was the very first day our choir has returned. I think we’re going to have an awesome choral season!