Requesting advice on chanting Liturgia Horarum daily
  • Greetings from Santiago de Chile,

    I've been reading this forum for over a year, and I'm a member of the CMAA, but this is my first post and topic. I would like to thank, in the first place, to all the very knowledgeable members that make this forum such a great resource on everything related to Gregorian Chant.

    I'm a chanted Office enthusiast, but I "struggle" daily to sing Liturgia Horarum in Latin, for Lauds, Vespers and Compline, according to the 2015 Ordo Cantus Officii. For Compline, I use Ad Completorium by Steven Van Roode (Thank you for this great book!), and for Vespers on Sundays and feasts the Antiphonale Romanum II.

    For Lauds everyday and Vespers on weekdays, my procedure is more or less like this:

    1) I sing the invitatory antiphon and psalm for Lauds from the Liber Hymnarius.

    2) The hymns, obviously from the Liber Hymnarius too.

    3) Sadly, I just recite the psalms with the antiphons from iBreviary (a shame).

    4) In advance, I collect the brief responsories according to the OCO in my tablet, so I can sing them daily without much time invested.

    5) I locate the Mangificat and Benedictus antiphon for the day in the source specified in the OCO (when this is possible!) and sing the Gospel canticle in accordance.

    Even with this minimum singing, there are times when the OCO asks for an antiphon from the manuscript tradition, or one listed in the Corpus Antiphonalium Officii or the Antiphonarium Cisterciense or any other rather uncommon source (unlike the familiar Antiphonale Romanum (1912) or the Antiphonale Monasticum (1934) for example) and I'm left without a practical musical setting and usually, to my frustration, end up with the Gospel canticle recited. Also, I don't like to recite the psalms, but I don't have the time to look for the three antiphons on a daily basis, especially when the OCO directs to the sources listed above.

    As far as I understand, some of this "manuscript tradition" antiphons have been restored in Saulnier's Antiphonale Monasticum (2005 ->) (but arranged for the monastic practice) and I think they can even be found in Les Heures Gregoriennes. I would like to ask you, more experienced in this area than me, if investing in one, or both of these works would make singing the Liturgia Horarum any less problematic, or at least to have the music so I don't miss chanting the psalms or Gospel canticles because I lack a antiphon from an obscure source.

    Thanks in advance!
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen smvanroode
  • joerg
    Posts: 64
    When you search for "OCO MMXV" on this forum, you will find two posts of mine with detailed sources for all the antiphons of the 4-week ferial psalter.
    For Advent and the Christmas season there is a very good new book by Alberto Turco
    "Antiphonae et Responsoria pro diurnis horis..." (Edizioni MelosAntiqua, Verona 2016.) For Lent and Easter Vol. 1 of the Antiphonale Monasticum 2005 will probably suffice.
  • igneusigneus
    Posts: 255
    Btw., (the old) Antiphonale Monasticum is online, Antiphonale Cisterciense too.

    I am happy to hear that some bits of the Cistercian chant tradition found way into the new OCO.
  • When you search for "OCO MMXV" on this forum, you will find two posts of mine with detailed sources for all the antiphons of the 4-week ferial psalter.

    Thank you very much for that outstanding work. I see you realise that Saulnier's Antiphonale Monasticum and Les Heures Gregoriennes are pretty accurate in their antiphons for the psalter. Please, correct me if I'm wrong, does this means that a convenient way to have a practical edition for the psalter without looking through various different sources (and finally investing a good time in editing my own book) would be buying one of these works?

    For Advent and the Christmas season there is a very good new book by Alberto Turco
    "Antiphonae et Responsoria pro diurnis horis..." (Edizioni MelosAntiqua, Verona 2016.)

    I jumped immediately to look for this, but I haven't found a single reference or bookstore to buy it. Do you know how can I get it? I'm sorry if this information is common knowledge for you, but I've been a slow learner.

    Btw., (the old) Antiphonale Monasticum is online, Antiphonale Cisterciense too.

    Thank you, igneus, I was not aware that these resources were scanned and available.
  • In other words, is it reasonable to buy the full set of Les Heures Gregoriennes , after the modifications of the 2015 Ordo Cantus Officii?
  • joerg
    Posts: 64
    Unfortunately "Les heures gregoriennes" is the only printed source for the current antiphons of the 4-week ferial psalter, and it is expensive. The ferial psalter is contained in every one of its 3 volumes, so 1 volume would suffice, but I think one cannot buy a single colume, you always have to buy the whole set for approx. $300.
    Why not use Jakub Pavlík's antiphonale? It's according to the 1983 OCO. In my mind this is not that much worse than the 2015 OCO. Both versions try to solve the same fundamental problem: For many of the psalms of the ferial office there simply is no corresponding antiphon from the classical repertoire. While OCO 1983 uses a number of neo gregorian chants to fill the lacunae, OCO 2015 uses only medieval antiphons but from differing traditions and sometimes from obscure sources. I find the latter approach at least as questionable as the former one.
    As for the seasonal antiphons vol 1 of the Antiphonale Monasticum 2005 will be enough, although it's been severely criticized for the reconstitutions of some melodies.
    But it's the best we have while waiting for the completion of Alberto Turco's antiphonale.
    (BTW I bought its first volume for EUR 25 in Rome in the Libreria Editrice Vaticana, but haven't found it in their most recent catalogue -- maybe you could just write them to obtain a copy.)
    Thanked by 1Julio_Garrido
  • Your reply is really enlightening, joerg. Thank you very much!

    I just wrote to Libreria Editrice Vaticana, to see if I have luck with Turco's Antiphonale. I really wonder why there are no references of it on the internet, or any announcement of its publication in New Liturgical Movement, for example.

    Thanks for bringing Jakub Pavlík's psalterium to my attention. It seems to be a really good alternative.

    I didn't know Saulnier's Antiphonale Monasticum has been so criticised, although it is something that he expected, according to his own introduction to the work as found in the Chant Cafe.
  • igneusigneus
    Posts: 255
    Thanks for bringing Jakub Pavlík's psalterium to my attention. It seems to be a really good alternative.


    Easily available - yes. Good - not really. It's incomplete and I know almost nothing about medieval musicology and current state-of-the-art chant restoration principles. The pieces which i had to "excavate" from manuscripts suffer from this ignorance. They are simply uncritical transcriptions of the medieval sources.
    Thanked by 1Julio_Garrido
  • stanmetheny
    Posts: 12
    I chant all the hours of the Liturgia Horarum every day, plus Compline from the BR. Following closely the Ordo Cantus Officii (OCO) and/or the typica alteraof the LH requires many books. Even if one has all the sources, not all the antiphons in the OCO/LHare readily found in modern editions. For the day hours, I use Les Heures Gregoriennes (LHG) supplemented by the Antiphonale Monasticum 2005 where Fr. Diradourian repeats antiphons 'for pastoral reasons' as he explained it. Matins involves use of the Liber Responsorialis, Ordo Hebdomodae Sanctae, the older Antiphonale Monasticum 1934, the Psalterium Monasticum 1981, and the Nocturnal Romanum. No need to be as anal about antiphonal choices as I am and use all these supplemental sources, though. A set of LHG is best single source for daily use. It can suffice for all the hours except Matins.
    Thanked by 1Julio_Garrido
  • joerg
    Posts: 64
    While in Rome for the congress on "Chiesa e Compositori" which is currently being organized by the Ponifical Council for Culture I bought the second volume of Alberto Turco's antiphonale with the antiphons for Lent and Easter. I also had occasion to talk to Mons. Turco and he told me that he had just completed the third volume with the ferial antiphons which is already in print and may appear by December. He's also currently working on the Sanctorale. So we will finally have reliable editions for most of the required repertoire!
  • I use Les Heures Gregoriennes. After 5 years of floundering around in a library of books, I can finally sit down and chant Laudes or Vespers in Latin without it being an hour-long project. When I don't chant, I prefer to read the Latin from the 1962 Breviarium. But trying to chant the 1962 Office from multiple books was so much work I gave up on it happening with any frequency (which is a viscious circle, because with more practice it would get easier). But I'm a busy lay person, so I'd rather the joy of a little chant than none at all.
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