Choral Library Help
  • JSHermanJSHerman
    Posts: 10
    In a little less than a month, I will begin building a music program at a small, orthodox, RC parish. This is exciting and terrifying all at the same time. I've never had to start from scratch quite like this before. The choir is small but will likely expand. Also, they are quite comfortable singing a cappella; polyphony throws them off a bit but they can do it. Now to my question. What would you kind folks suggest for the library (favorite pieces, octavos, anthologies, etc.)? As of right now there is no library and I'm sure that on my own I'll over look some great music. Thanks in advance for your help!
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,428
    One copy apiece for each member of your choir (plus extras), of:


    Bookmark the Choral Public Domain Library on your browser:
    http://www2.cpdl.org/wiki/index.php/Main_Page

    Also, read this:
    http://www.chantcafe.com/2014/06/what-ive-learned-in-12-years.html
  • JSHermanJSHerman
    Posts: 10
    Thanks Adam! All of these, except the article, were already bookmarked and ready to be purchased!
  • JSHermanJSHerman
    Posts: 10
    1. Is the Lumen Christi Simple Gradual just the Simple English propers with more bells and whistles? To clarify, are the melodies and tones for the antiphons and psalms the same? Trying to stretch the budget...before I have to find benefactors.

    2. How well do the Allen motets work in an SAB voicing? I've done them before with equal voices, as they're written, but never SAB.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,921
    The LCSG web page shows the whole book as a preview, so you can check it out:
    http://www.illuminarepublications.com/products/lcsg/
    Thanked by 1Adam Wood
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,428
    1. Is the Lumen Christi Simple Gradual just the Simple English propers with more bells and whistles? To clarify, are the melodies and tones for the antiphons and psalms the same?


    No.


    I answer this question a lot (I work for Illuminare), or some version of it:


    Here's my standard answer, which I often copy-and-paste into emails:

    ---------
    What's the difference between the Lumen Christi Simple Gradual and the Simple English Propers?
    ---------

    *Musical Settings

    The antiphons of the SEP were essentially Psalm tones. They were very simple formulaic compositions that were re-used, over and over, throughout the book. This made them easy to learn and sing, but not nearly as interesting as the Gregorian originals, nor really robust enough to stand-up to ongoing congregational use year after year.

    The antiphons of Lumen Christi Simple Gradual, on the other hand, are actually individually composed settings with musical value and interest, though they are still simple and easy enough for a congregation to learn quickly and sing. Also, the melodies - while simplified - take their inspiration from the Gregorian originals, which connects the Lumen Christi series to the authentic tradition of the Church in a way that wasn't really possible with the SEP.

    *Translations

    The SEP used the English Translations of the original Latin antiphons that were provided in the Gregorian Missal (a Latin/English choir resource produced by the Solesmes Monastery). These translations were adequate and licit, but they were not ever intended to be used as actual prayer texts in the liturgy- they were not ideal in any way.

    The LCSG (and the Lumen Christi Missal) takes its translations from official liturgical sources, primarily the new English translation of the Roman Missal.

    (The details of the translation effort and Missal-Graduale antiphon alignment is a bit too complicated to get into here, but suffice to say it was quite an undertaking.)

    This means that the English translations in the Lumen Christi Series are in accord with the new translation, and in alignment with the principles of Liturgiam Authenticam

    *Completeness

    A number of Feasts, Votives, and Ritual Masses were not included in the SEP, but are a part of the Lumen Christi Simple Gradual. The LCSG also has Propers of Saints and most of the Commons you would need.

    *Mass Ordinaries

    The SEP contained only the processional propers, while the LCSG contains 18 chanted Mass settings, in English and Latin (including the ICEL Chant Mass in English and the most popular Latin settings, such as the Missa de Angelis).

    *Assembly and Choir Editions

    The Assembly Edition of the Lumen Christi Simple Gradual contains only the Antiphons (and the Ordinary chants), but not the Psalm verses, which are available in the Choir Edition. This makes it a much more economical resource for congregational singing.

    *Ritual-worthy binding

    The SEP was really intended as a resource for choirs, cantors, and music directors. As such, it was printed more like a text-book (with a full-color graphic cover) than like a ritual book. The Simple Gradual, like all the books in the Lumen Christi series, is beautifully bound in a ritual-style single-color hard cover with gold-embossed lettering and silk ribbons. It's not just a resource for the loft or the office, but is intended to be used, and seen, in the sacred liturgy.
    ---------

    Hope that helps.



    Thanked by 2JSHerman Heath
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,428
    How well do the Allen motets work in an SAB voicing? I've done them before with equal voices, as they're written, but never SAB.


    Not as well, but still very well.
  • Heath
    Posts: 897
    "How well do the Allen motets work in an SAB voicing? I've done them before with equal voices, as they're written, but never SAB."

    I've had success with this modification:

    --bump them up a step
    --put sopranos on middle line
    --put altos on top line *down the octave*
    --all men on lower line, or high tenors singing top line with altos

    The voicing works so much better that way. If you PM me, I could send you an example.
    Thanked by 1JSHerman