Critique requested- congregational Mass setting
  • I am working on a new english Mass setting, the working title being "Short Mass of Mary, Mother of God," for the St. Mary Cathedral-Basilica here in Galveston. Any advice and critique is welcome. The first draft of the Sanctus is posted below.

  • I detect shades of De Angelis/Credo III. Was that your intention?
    Thanked by 1liampmcdonough
  • Is the syncopation an accident of the composition, or is it substantial to it?
    What sort of tempo do you have in mind?
    Thanked by 1liampmcdonough
  • To echo the above comments, your Sanctus is very chant like. Also, but for the syncopation on the three Holies, it is lacking in rhythmic ineterest. You might have, as a unifying device, repeated the syncopation over 'Blessed is he...' Also, with but a welcome respite here and there, the movement is predominantly step-wise and too predictable to sustain interest. A few more leaps and more rhthymicinterest would go a long way to making your Sanctus a much better composition.

    The last time I was in St Mary's Cathedral in Galvestion was to play for Msgr Victor di Primeo's requiem back in the late seventies. Did you know him? I was his organist (he took me on because I was Anglican) at the liturgically and musically important St Ambrose in Houston at the time of the Council. At St Ambrose we had solemn high masses (with sung lectionary, too!), in English, every Sunday and solemnity that would rival anything that we do in the Ordinariate. Alas, that tradition did not long outlive Msgr di Primeo's pastorship.
    Thanked by 1liampmcdonough
  • The Mass is intentionally conceived as English chant. Any resemblance to the De Angelis is coincidental. Here is a (low quality) recording from my home piano, so you can get a sense of the intended musical interpretation:

    @CGZ- Yes, the syncopation on "Holy" is intentional. I was looking to avoid the awkward accenting of "hol-EE-EE" typified by the ICEL version

    @MJO My intention was to compose an ordinary that was fairly readily accessible to the congregation here. I admit, it's hard to hit that "sweet spot" between predictable bland melody and simple musical elegance. Thanks for the honest criticism.
    I am afraid this Msgr Victor di Primeo was before my time. How I wish for more pastoral leadership of that caliber!
  • Finished a second draft, taking in to consideration the comments above. PDF copy and mp3 are uploaded below. I appreciate the feedback!
  • Ok, so the Gloria, Sanctus et Benedictus, and Agnus Dei are now drafted (Kyrie is on paper, still being worked out). I'll post them below. The Gloria, you will notice, recycles a fair amount of melodic ideas from the rest of the ordinary. It is my hope that this serves to bind each piece into one cohesive work, while also rendering it more memorable, and therefore more teachable to a congregation.

    Comments welcome