Chants Abrégés and the Graduel Romain of Quebec
  • In 1926, Desclée & Co. published a varient of the Graduale Romanum specifically for the Diocese of Quebec with title, Graduel Romain a l'usage du Diocèse de Québec, No. 688. I recently obtained a copy with the Imprimatur 10 April 1929. Bound in this volume is Chants Abrégés des Graduels, des Alleluias et des Traits pour toute l'année with page numbers [1]-[267].

    Here's the interesting thing: Chants Abrégés is integral to the book rather than being a separate supplement bound into a single volume such as commonly found in the Liber Usualis, or Graduale Romanum (No. 696).
    - In the preface to the Gradual Romain, Canon Pelletier, choirmaster at the cathedral, says, "In addition, abbreviated chants (Graduals, Alleluias and Tracts) are included in an Appendix for weekday Mass. These psalm formulas can also be used on Sunday by the choirs that can not adequately perform the solemn formulas." (« De plus, des chants abrégés (Graduels, Alléluias et Traits), ont été ajoutés en Appendice pour les messes de semaine. Ces formules psalmodiques pourront aussi être employées le dimanche par les chœurs qui ne sauraient exécuter convenablement les formules solennelles. »)
    - In the sections with the proper chants of the mass from the Graduale, there are conspicuous and comprehensive references to the Appendix, such as "Chants abrégés du Graduel et du Trait, [43] et [24]".
    - The Appendix is tagged "No. 688", same as the rest of the book. Note that the stand-alone volume, Chants Abrégés is No. 689.
    - Pages [248]-[267] of the Appendix contain the Index for the entire volume.
    - On pp. 99-100 in the main part of the book, in the section for the Requiem Mass, the Chants abrégés for the Gradual and Tract are inserted after the ornate versions from the Graduale instead of being included in the Appendix. In the stand-alone Chants Abrégés No. 689, these particular abbreviated chants are included in a 1-page supplement with the Imprimatur 24 November 1930. This suggests that the stand-alone No. 689 is dependent on No. 688 rather than the other way around.

    I had previously supposed that Chants Abrégés originated in France. But based on the evidence in the Quebec Graduel Romain it seems more likely that it started out as project of the Diocese of Quebec. Canon Pelletier in the Preface singles out M. l'Abbé Placide Gagnon (a Gregorian chant promoter) as providing invaluable help in preparing the Graduel Romain, and I wonder if he also had a hand in composing the melodies for the Chants Abrégés.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen BruceL
  • Ted
    Posts: 203
    There have been a few such Graduels Romains, going back to at least 1800, and scans of these can be found at the Internet Archives. This one is interesting because it may be the only one ever published that includes the chant restoration work of Solesmes.
  • Ted - I haven't done an exhaustive search, but a quick check of online booksellers turned up only the Quebec edition with the title Graduel Romain published in the 1908-1962 period. Would be interested to know if other editions were published. Note that the Paroissien Romain (Liber Usualis) was sometimes bound with a supplement for the usage of a particular diocese in France. I've seen Chartres, Lyons, Rouen and Quimper et Léon and am on the lookout for others.
  • Ted
    Posts: 203
    Some of my older Paroissiens Romains from the 1930's not only have supplements at the end for France but also for Canada and USA. They also have wonderful Masses by Henri DuMont.
    There is a scan of the Chants Abrégés des Graduels, des Alleluias et des Traits available the CMAA website, by the way. We sometimes use them here in Montreal at a church that has newly started doing sung High Masses on Sunday mornings, Sts Cyril and Methodius. Here is the weekly programmes we use which occasionally have old chants at one time popular in Quebec:

    If you are interested, here are some scans of very old Graduels Romains a l'usage du Diocèse de Québec

  • Do you have a supplement specifically for Canada? I've seen them for the USA, but not for Canada.
  • Ted
    Posts: 203
    The only edition I have on hand of the Paroissien Romain is the 1946 edition, which is the 1936 edition with a supplement for USA and Canada. The supplement is rather sparse, only the Double of Class II Feast, SS Jean de Brebeuf, and Isaac Jogues, and their companions. There is a note that in USA, the two martyrs' names are reversed in the prayers and title.
    I will be in a better position on the weekend to look at other editions of the Paroissien Romain.
    I am wondering if there were any English editions of the Liber Usualis for Canada and USA. I suspect that in USA, at least, the Rossini Propers were more popular.
  • There are indeed English editions of the Liber Usualis - No. 801 as opposed to No. 800 (or 904) for the Paroissien Romain. Beginning in 1956 or thereabouts, a supplement for the USA began to be included which ran to 80 pages or so.