Choral Office of the Dead?
  • PLTT
    Posts: 101
    Are there any choral compositions of the Office for the Dead - or one of its major parts (Matins, Lauds, Vespers)? I've only found odd pieces, based on one or other antiphon, or lesson or responsory....
  • PLTT,

    Which of the following do you mean?

    a) Has anyone composed a cycle of pieces intended to work as a whole for one of the parts of the Office of the Dead, much as one might compose a Requiem or a Mass Ordinary or an entire Mass Proper as a unit? [This presumes that one could have an entire office sung polyphonically.]

    b) Are there antiphons composed chorally for any part of the Off/Defunct?


    Next question -- and I'm sorry that I keep asking it of all of these sorts of questions, but the two forms aren't the same -- Is this for the Divine Office or the Liturgy of the Hours?
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,108
    The 2 Lassus lesson cycles are very rewarding, the 1565 publication being more imitative while 1585 is homophonic but harmonically more audacious (btw the latter was 'reserved' for Lasso's patron Albrecht and there's no reason to suppose it must be a late work; Lasso's parents died at the same time). CPDL has some Iberian responsory cycles as well, listed at Category:Office_of_the_Dead.
    Thanked by 2tomjaw CHGiffen
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,108
    It's apparently never a bad idea to search IMSLP either!
    Thanked by 3tomjaw CHGiffen PLTT
  • Maestro,

    That's an impressive collection! Thank you for drawing my attention to it.
  • PLTT
    Posts: 101
    Thank you all.....I've had some more luck also searching for individual pieces like "Regem cui omnia vivunt".....

    I'm a little surprised that there isn't more out there, given how much stress was laid on the Office of the Dead (at least Matins and Lauds) as part of the traditional funeral rites. But perhaps the somber nature meant that people were more likely to recto-tono it, or chant, avoid use of instruments, etc.?

    re: CGZ, I was hoping for the first but happy if I find also the second. Presumably all the classical works would be based on the EF, but I'm happy if there is something using the OF. A number of the texts are retained, however, so I would expect some overlap.

    As a matter of fact, I was looking because I was thinking of putting together a recording of OF Office of the Dead (but using aspects of the traditional repertoire, as far as permitted) for people to use, especially in these days when (at least in some places) there are so many deaths....