EFORE I SHARE something special, I would like to remind you of a few things. In October of 2022, I posted this article, which contains four (4) different versions of the Simple Salve Regina in English. There you can find discussion about the “theory”—as Father Valentine Young would say—about setting plainsong to English (and some common pitfalls). In June of 2020, I uploaded 21 organ accompaniments for the Simple Salve Regina. That’s a URL link worth bookmarking, because you can freely download harmonizations by Father Carlo Rossini, Auguste Le Guennant, Joseph Renner, Nicola A. Montani, Dom Jean Hébert Desrocquettes, Patrick Russill, Dom Gregory Murray, Dr. Theodore Marier, Achille P. Bragers, Giulio Bas, Henri Potiron, Dr. Eugène Lapierre, Malton Boyce, and others. In August of 2022, I uploaded 32 versions of the Simple Salve Regina, and explored “Trochee Trouble” in depth.
New English Translation • I was sent a very fine English translation of the Simple Salve Regina by a member of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter. The incomparable Andrew Hinkley kindly set it to Gregorian Chant notation. You can download it free of charge:
* PDF Download • SALVE REGINA (Simplex)
—2022 Translation by a priest of the Fraternity of Saint Peter.
Emotional Approach • We’ve spoken at length about Gregorian rhythm from a theoretical perspective. Now, let’s consider it from an ‘emotional’ perspective. Suppose you are Abbat Pothier. You spent your entire life restoring Cantus Gregorianus against incredible odds. You single handedly overturned the 30-year PPP (“Pustet Papal Privilege”). You single handedly spent years copying plainsong manuscripts, allowing you to restore the true (non-corrupted) rhythm, the full (non-truncated) melodies, and the true (modal) tonality. You single handedly invented an authentic (box notation) Gregorian font, which would last more than 120 years. You single handedly produced the Processionale, Liber Responsorialis, Liber Antiphonarius, Liber Gradualis, Toni Communes, and Ordinarium Missae. Your scores are clean and beautiful, such as this one:
Now imagine what it must have felt like to see your former student come along and place all kinds of (technically illicit) markings all over your scores:
I’m not at all certain I would be thrilled about people doing that!
Father Angelo De Santi • One of Dom Mocquereau’s biggest supporters was a Jesuit priest named Father De Santi. (You can read about him here.) According to Dom Pierre Combe, on 20 December 1903 Father De Santi “begged Dom Delatte (supplichiamo vivamente) to enjoin Dom Mocquereau to produce books in a larger format, like the format of the 1883 LIBER GRADUALIS, and without rhythmic markings…” In a letter (31 December 1903) addressed to Dom Mocquereau himself, Father de Santi repeated his pressing demand: “We implore the Fathers of Solesmes, and I have already written about this matter to the Abbot, to get to work immediately on typical editions of Gregorian chant, in the manner of the LIBER GRADUALIS, without dots and without rhythmic indications.” On 29 June 1904, the Vatican Commission on Gregorian Chant would decide that: “The Vatican Edition will not feature the rhythmic indications of the latest Benedictine editions, but will limit itself to the method already in use in the initial editions of Dom Pothier, retaining only those signs related to the groupings of notes and of members of phrases.”