3-voice Canon - Gustate et Videte (Charles H. Giffen)
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,107
    Note (May 17, 2019): Most up-to-date scores are at the bottom of this thread
    Note (June 12, 2014): This work has been extensively revised with more attention paid to preserving the canon structure throughout (as opposed to providing "filling material" for the voices that enter first and second; hence, new PDF scores together with MP3 sound files may be found further down this thread. This initial post has been edited to remove obsolete material, although the original two scores have been left.

    Maybe Kathy Pluth started something when she asked for a singable 3-part setting of Gustate et videte in another thread. With that text already on my mind and thinking a lot these days about 3-part music, I set out to compose just such a setting. Only I ended up with not one, but two slightly different settings. The first [now obsolete setting] was composed for Mezzo, Alto, and Baritone voices, featuring a 3-part canon, with the outer voices (Mz & Bar) an octave apart, the Bar part delayed by 3 measures, and the inner (A) part a perfect fifth below the top voice, delayed by 2 measures.

    Although I really like the way it turned out, it occurred to me that another possibility [which became the model for the revision] might be to transpose the inner part up an octave to become the top part ... only this resulted in a some parallel fifths and other infelicities, so I modified the canon where necessary, and the result is a 3-part canonical setting for Soprano, Mezzo, and Baritone (or transposed down a whole step, for Soprano, Alto, and Bass) voices. I like the SMzBar setting even more, as it has a more "open" feeling with the top part floating above the other two parts (at least if you use Sopranos and not screeching Sopranshees).

    For completeness, I have provided Communion verses (Mode III, of course) to match the settings.

    Enclosed are the PDF scores together with sound files for the MzABar and SMzBar versions (I can provide the transposed SAB version of the latter, if anyone needs it).

    I am also preparing an English edition of these same settings, with matching Mode III Anglican chant for the verses.

    The sound files attached here simply play the initial Antiphon, followed by the Gloria Patri and then the final Antiphon.
  • WendiWendi
    Posts: 633
    Thank you. Lovely. I'm always looking for good three part pieces.

    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • gregpgregp
    Posts: 632
    Ditto to what Wendi said. We have an SAB choir with no accompaniment, so pieces like this are perfect for us. Thanks very much, Charles!
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • Heath
    Posts: 819
    Charles, these look great! I may break one of these out this summer with a couple of my stronger cantors.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • noel jones, aagonoel jones, aago
    Posts: 6,528
    I love the movement of the voices and harmonies, thank you for these.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,107
    I have very slightly altered these settings and in the first post in this thread have uploaded the new versions, together with new sound files to match.

    Also, I have finished the corresponding English language settings ("O Taste and See") and will post them in a separate thread.

    Thanks for the very kind reception of this work. It was written under some mixed circumstances, the good part of which was the birth of my 12th grandchild, a baby girl ... mother, baby, father (my son), and brother and sister are all doing well and are delighted, as are my wife and I.
  • Heath
    Posts: 819
    Congrats on the new arrival, Charles!
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,107
    As pointed out in a note at the beginning of the first post in this thread, I have completely revised (or recomposed) the Communion Antiphon Gustate et Videte, so that the entire 3-voice canon ("fuga") can be reconstructed from a single part (the Prima Vox, which enters first), as laid out on the first page of the score, following the custom of may composers of the Renaissance. The second page of the score is a complete 3-part score which resolves the issues of interpreting what appears on the first page. The third and fourth pages provide Psalm 33 (Vulgata) verses and the Gloria Patri, set to the usual Mode III chant, in my own 3-part harmonization.

    The two extra parts (Altera Vox 1, Altera Vox 2) are described as

    Altera Vox 1 - canon at a fourth higher delayed by two measures.
    Altera Vox 2 - canon at an octave below (or at the unison, ad lib.) delayed by three measures.

    Because of the two possibilities for Altera Vox 2 (suboctave or unison), and with various pitch possibilities, this work can be performed with any of several 3-part voicings. Attached here are two of each:

    Suboctave Altera Vox 2 for SAT or MzABar (SMzT & ATB are available)
    Unison Altera Vox 2 for SAA or TBarB (SMzMz & ATT are available)

    This revision and a corresponding English "O Taste and See" have been composed for my wife Patty, who will be undergoing major surgery in a week.


    Thanked by 2Heath cesarfranck