Polyphonic Gloria for the Easter Vigil
  • I am looking for a polyphonic choral setting of the Gloria for use at our upcoming Easter Vigil.

    I am looking for Roman polyphony, early Baroque polychoral music such as that of Gabrieli, and the like. Any suggestions? It may be all polyphonic or alternatim with chant or canto figurado.

    Ideally, it would be rather more dramatic and exciting than calm and peaceful, at least in portion.

    Any and all suggestions are gratefully received.

    EDIT: I would note two things: we are looking for something that will make a joyful noise, something very important for our congregation, who will be expecting that; and second, the choir consists of professional singers who have sung with me for years, and who sight read very well. We will have one practice. So difficulty is not much of a consideration.
  • It's not polychoral, but -
    There is the 1641 mass for four voices by Monteverdi.
    It has quite a nice ritual and ceremonial air about it.
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  • StimsonInRehabStimsonInRehab
    Posts: 1,904
    Two that come immediately to mind from your time period, roughly -

    -Hassler's Missa Secunda (Go for the gusto if you decide on this one!)
    -Victoria's Misaa Pro Victoria (If you have enough voices, or perhaps choose to play the bottom chorus on organ)
  • St. Michael's Choir School tradition (which isn't happening this year...) is to sing the Gloria and Agnus from Missa Papae Marcelli at the Easter Vigil.
  • Chaswjd
    Posts: 233
    You could try this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1DCXkIjp6Sc

    I would second the Missa Secunda suggestion. I also would second the Monteverdi 1641 Mass Gloria. Another suggestion would be the Gloria from the Lassus Jager Mass (Missa Octavi Toni). It is not terribly polyphonic but does make a joyful noise.

    And if you wanted to depart from polyphony, you might try the original version of the Gloria from Haydn Klein Orgel mass. It certainly does make a joyful noise. But its length (less than a minute) may not fit the Vigil. On the other hand, if your presider wants to get things done, it might fit perfectly.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 5,121
    I'm very much a fan of Hans Leo Hassler. That said, I think that the Gloria from his Missa super Dixit Maria is a better work than that from his Missa Secunda. YMMV.

    Here's a CPDL score (for the entire MsDM).
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  • Schönbergian
    Posts: 1,063
    Isn't Dixit Maria traditionally associated with Advent?

    My votes would be for Lassus - Missa super Surrexit pastor bonus or, for more modern sensibilities (but still polychoral and contrapuntal), the phenomenal Rheinberger Cantus Missae.
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  • mahrt
    Posts: 517
    We sing the Gloria from Morales's Missa Caça. It is short and lively and has been very effective.
  • Casali's Mass in G is just lovely, super dramatic (up to the director just how dramatic you would like it!), and could reasonably put together in the two weeks (!) between now and the Vigil. Also sounds great accompanied or un-.

    Here's a vintage recording:

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  • StimsonInRehabStimsonInRehab
    Posts: 1,904
    It certainly does make a joyful noise. But its length (less than a minute) may not fit the Vigil.

    It's longer if you use Little Brother Mikey's Version.
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  • Chaswjd, I have indeed used the shorter version of the Gloria from Haydn's Missa Sancti Joannis de Deo, but I have been asked if I could use it less frequently.
  • I hugely second the Rheinberger, if you have the vocal forces.
  • ref_scottref_scott
    Posts: 90
    Dvorak Mass in D (with Missa de Angelis for congregational singing)

  • CGM
    Posts: 643
    If you've got the people, I'd say go for Gabrieli himself. His Gloria a12 is magnificent. Any of the choirs can be doubled with instruments, so you could have strings double choir 1, woodwinds double choir 2, and brass double choir 3; or you could do choir 1 a cappella and add various organ registrations with the other choirs.

    Here's a wonderful recording where choir 1 and choir 2 are sung by solo quartets, the orchestra doubles at the tutti moments, and then as the piece goes on, different lines are parceled out for solo voices w/ accompaniment, etc. Very festive and colorful!

    Or, if you have fewer singers, check out E. Power Biggs' recording here, in which
    — the soprano line of choir 1 is sung by solo countertenor, accompanied by strings
    — the soprano line of choir 2 is sung by solo countertenor, accompanied by brass
    — choir 3 is sung by SATB choir, doubled by subtle organ

    (The piece is about 3 1/2 min. long; don't be concerned by the 6-plus min. of the Biggs YouTube vid., wherein the piece is actually played through twice, the second time quicker and at a higher pitch, presumably to throw off copyright-infringement search bots...)