• MarkB
    Posts: 104
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  • madorganist
    Posts: 416
    Thank you for sharing! To 1 & 3: yes to both. To 2, a few suggestions:
    Consider doubling the note values and changing the time signature to ¢ or 2/2. There is a lot of precedent for that meter in sacred choral music. Use slurs over notes sung to a single syllable. Because of the repeat, you probably need a rest at the beginning instead of the pickup measure if you really want to be correct with the notation. But beware: that da capo repeat produces a TB /5/ ! ST /8/ mm. 22-23. I'll try to find a few minutes to take it to the keyboard tomorrow and see if I find anything else.
  • MarkB
    Posts: 104
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  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 1,620
    Not bad! Maybe there's a way of delaying the ii7 chord: having it on both syllables of "Christus" seems to me to sacrifice momentum, or maybe it's the drawing out of the weak syllable that bothers me.

    I can't help wondering why the repeat: I know of no second verse, and there's still a slightly irregular resolution of the 7th. Have you seen how Messiaen extends the text?
    Thanked by 2MarkB CHGiffen
  • MarkB
    Posts: 104
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  • I would give bars 6, 7, & 8 to Chris-, and only bar 9 to -tus. This would give the larger part of the melisma to the accented syllable and avoid the undue stress on 'stoo-oo-oo-oos'. I think it would also sing better and sound more natural. (Just a thought for you to consider.)
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen MarkB
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 3,912
    Sorry I haven't been able to get to this sooner ... as I've been intensely working on a piece for solo cello and harp (at the request of the cellist). Most of the issues I noticed have been addressed already, and I'm usually hesitant to suggest changes that might unduly alter the intent of the composer.

    m13-14 ("re-co-li-"): The a-c-d on "re-co-" in the tenor part feels like a way of avoiding a quarter note parallel octave with the a-d in the soprano part (if, for example, the eighth note a-c were replace by a quarter note a). Additionally, the open fifths on the downbeat of m14 ("co-") sound hollow in contrast to chords (harmonies) that are more than triadic (think 6th & 7th chords). The solution? ... I'm not sure what Mark (and others) may think is best. But one solution would be (1) in the tenor, change the eighth note a-c to a quarter note a (on "re-") and the quarter note d to a b (on "co-"); (2) in the bass, change the quarter note g to an e (on "co-"). That's the simplest solution; however, it removes the eighth note motion on the second beat of m13. If motion at this point is desired (and I think it well could be) then, instead of (2), try: (3) in the bass, change the quarter note g (on "re-") to eighth notes c-d, followed by either a quarter note e (on "co-") or eighth notes e-f# (on "co-").

    I don't know how others might feel, but I usually have an aversion to parallel 2nds, 7ths, 9ths (basically the same) UNLESS they fulfill a good harmonic-counterpoint purpose. This is not unlike, but more pronounced than, the bias against parallel fifths or octaves, if for the opposite reason (they cloud or make more dense the structure instead of making it more hollow). On a cursory look, I see examples of such parallelisms in m16-17 (ST), m23 (AT), m32 (AT), and (if you ignore the upbeat eighths in the B) m27-28 (TB).

    Perhaps I'm just old-fashioned, and your comfort zone may be different.

    Don't get me wrong ... On the whole, this is indeed a lovely piece.
  • ...an aversion to parallel...

    Ha!
    I played the alternatim kyrie cunctipotens from Attaingnant's publication in a recent recital, in which the second verset has blatant parallel sevenths betwixt S and A.! Blatant, mind you!
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • MarkB
    Posts: 104
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    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • If you want parallel harmonic seconds or sevenths from a harmonic standpoint, try to achieve them through voice exchanges. I find that stepwise motion with those intervals can often be muddy.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • If you are looking for an example of beautiful scrunch music, listen to Ubi Caritas of Maurice Durufle.
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 1,620
    The repeat sign leaves things to one's taste, and my choir knows what this means, as well as how an accompanying furrowed brow and head shake modifies it. ;-)

    Of all the many settings of O sacrum, Messiaen's is not only the boldest in arranging the text but particularly instructive in constructing climaxes. A repeat should be unthinkable in this case.