Ave Maria a 8 (Charles H. Giffen)
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,517
    Note (2021-02-04): The Dropbox link now points to the lastest (and final?) revision of my Ave Maria a 8. It has fewer caesura than the original, and there have been some other minor changes, mostly to the text underlay and also to the Counter tenor part. The updated PDF score and a new MP3 sound file are also attached.

    Here is a Dropbox link to a scrolling score video of my recent Ave Maria a 8, which is essentially the same as my 6-part work (posted here previously), but with two added (Discantus & Counter Tenor) parts - an experimental enhancement that seems to work quite well. The original 6-part work was basically a contrafactum of my 6-part Ave verum corpus, and the enhancement for the Ave Maria is something that I had been working on for some time. A PDF score is also attached.

    New link: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/4o38stkeurjwb8v/AACet9EsFXap_ZF2APCfuiopa?dl=0

  • Remarkably beautiful, Chuck!

    Only one comment, which I make timorously - namely, do so many stops and starts negatively affect the continuum. Some of these are quite effective, but so many spoil the effect that fewer would have. Perhaps not so many caesurae? But your contrasts between full choir and a few voices, which are woven together very pleasingly, are very effective.
    Tallis employed this procedure to great effect in Spem - but, if I recall correctly, Spem's lengthy continuum is interrupted by only three complete silences, and those at particularly climactic spots (one at in Deo salutari and two at respice) where they are unexpected and quite dramatic - even breathtaking.
    Nonetheless, your writing is exquisite to see and to hear. I love it.

    And, I was moved deeply and think that you should send this work to King's!
    I can just hear it at lessons and carols after the reading about the angelic greeting.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • Any live recordings possible in the near future CHGiffen?
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,517
    To answer Jackson about those caesurae: most of these are to be viewed (at least to my sensibility) as breath breaks. Indeed, I would expect the voiced "m" in "tecum" in m.9 to carry over into the first beat of m.10 - although section [A] at that point begins a sentence ("benedicta tu...") after the initial salutation. Similarly, before section [B], the "s" of "mulieribus" in m.18 should carry over to the first beat of m.19 (although it is unvoiced). And a third instance of essentially the same thing occurs in m.50 into m.51 the "s" of "nobis").

    A major part of the consideration for three of the caesurae has to do with textual rhythm - "gratia plena", "benedicta tu" and "peccatoribus" - each commencing on the second minim in a four minim (4/2) measure. If the phrases were to begin on the down beat, there would be an overemphasis of the first syllable with, say, a semibreve followed by two minims ("GRA - tia") or a dotted breve followed by a minim ("BE - - ne-" or "PEC - - ca-"). In the first attached score (suffix -a), I "fix" the first caesura at m.10 in this manner; in addition, the former caesurae at m.13 & m.54 are covered over by tying the last notes of the previous measure into the empty first beat. In the second attached score (suffix -b), all three of the caesurae discussed above are covered by moving the first syllable to the first beat as described above. I'm only minimally satisfied with this, even though I tried to have some of the voices enter on the second beat to mitigate against the downbeat emphasis.

    In a different approach, I have maintained the textual rhythm in the three instances above by a different circumlocution - namely, tying the notes from the previous measure over into the down beat - in m.5-6 & m.50-51 for the third attached score (suffix -aa) and, additionally, for the instances in m.10, m.19 in the fourth attached score (suffix -bb).

    Any remaining caesurae (especially in the -aa & -bb scores) are to remain. I'm somewhat with Anton Bruckner, who said of his 2nd Symphony in c minor ("Pausensinfonie") that, when he had something new to say, he needed to take a breath. The Bruckner 2nd was the second of his symphonies that I became familiar with as a youth, after having been transfixed by his 5th Symphony in B-flat Major (which has its own share of pauses).

    Also, I fixed a wrong note in the counter tenor part in m.27.

    Any comments or preferences for alternate versions are welcome.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,517
    I have just (2021-02-04, 9:20pm CDT) updated the score and Dropbox link in the first post with the (presumably final) revision of my Ave Maria a 8, the revisions mainly taking into account the above comments from MJO about caesura (most have been eliminated, along the lines of the suggestions in the -b score), together with some minor text underlay changes (top 3 voices in m.15) and also some minor alterations to the Counter tenor part (m.15-16 & 56-57).

    The COVID-19 situation prevented the possibility of an earlier performance of this work in the original form, but that might have been fortuitous in light of the revisions made since then. Now, if only a first performance can somehow be achieved (and recorded!).
  • sdtalley3sdtalley3
    Posts: 170
    Charles,
    can't you send your works to Matthew Curtis at Choral tracks? I usually use his services at chroaltracks.com.