Holy Week 2021: Repeating Repertoire?
  • How many of you are planning on using the pieces from last year which you programmed but didn't get to use, or used but with a small, live-streamed congregation? Choral pieces you rehearsed, but weren't able to sing? Preludes and postludes you prepared, but which fell by the wayside?

    I'm planning on re-using the postlude which I learned for last year (In Dir Ist Freude, Orgelbuechlein) while learning a new and more involved prelude (using the time I would otherwise spend on prepping a difficult Easter-worthy postlude). I played it last Easter Sunday, but it is such a lovely piece and nobody got to experience its pure, unbridled joy from the church itself.

    As to the choir, we prepped quite a few things which we never got to sing as an ensemble. Diving back into those pieces should be easier this second time around, and it will save us valuable rehearsal time. Additionally, I have no idea at this point what Easter 2021 will look like. For the past few weeks we haven't been permitted to rehearse or sing at Mass, and who knows how long that will last. Will the choir re-convene at all in time to prep for Easter? Will we re-convene, yet have singing cancelled in the 11th hour? Will we be able to have a glorious and joyful Easter with a singing congregation and beautiful, florid liturgy? Who knows. I'd rather not risk prepping entirely new material given all of the constantly-changing factors though.

    Thanks for listening to my rant. Now, what are you all planning to do?
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,169
    We always sang Holy Week from a binder with more or less fixed repertoire; only Christmas has the slightly more stressful expectation of juggling the novel with the familiar.
  • MarkB
    Posts: 409
    I've almost completed one year at my parish and plan to retire all of the parish's usual Good Friday repertoire, which was heavily reliant on OCP Breaking Bread music. I'm going to try all a cappella music for the entire liturgy with some SATB pieces, which will be a challenge for my choir because prior to my arrival they were only singing melody on every song. My plans for adoration of the Holy Cross are to sing the texts that the Roman Missal specifies should be sung, for the most part, which no other parish in my diocese does:

    Adoramus Te Christe (Dubois)
    My People, What Have I Done to You? (The Reproaches) by Jeremy Kiolbassa of GIA
    Faithful Cross, chanted to the tune of Pange Lingua Gloriosi
    At the Cross Her Station Keeping

    And at Communion, chant a simple psalm-toned setting of Psalm 22.

    This will be a big change for the parish and the choir, but I think I've brought them to a point where the choir will trust me on this and it will succeed, and the a cappella music will enhance the mournful, stark character of the liturgy, AND perhaps the congregation will realize that sacred-sounding music is indeed more prayerful than the soft-pop stuff that most parishes sing. Good Friday seems an ideal liturgy for such an overhaul, although I'm also going to do something similar but less thorough on Ash Wednesday.

    The setting of the Reproaches I plan to use is something I discovered only a couple days ago; it was just published in 2019 so it's quite new and possibly unknown to many people on this forum. I was originally going to use Weber's simple setting in his Proper of the Mass, but I think the GIA setting by Kiolbassa will be better received by the choir and congregation. Have a look and listen to it at the link below:
    https://www.giamusic.com/store/resource/o-my-people-print-g9887

    Holy Thursday and Easter Vigil plans won't be as radically different. It was Good Friday that I wanted to overhaul this year because the music they have done in the past was so out of place and out of character for the Good Friday liturgy.
  • Elmar
    Posts: 261
    I haven't planned anything yet, and won't do so too fast.
    Last year we had to stop rehearsing mid-March and we would essentially begin from zero again without enough time to accomplish what we had planned an the time. Our current lockdown lasts until 1-19 and will most certainly be extended. At present max. 2 singers, I don't expect anything resembling a parish choir before April/May.

    I'll have a meeting tomorrow with two people from the parish council about what the parish expects me to do in the months to come. My guess is that they expect me to just wait for what they'll decide in their great wisdom, once the bishop gives new directives; and to shut up in the meantime and not ask silly questions or even make plans of my own.

    Btw. our pastor (of 5 parishes) sits beeing locked to his native country where he went in November, visiting his sick father.
  • Caleferink
    Posts: 332
    If I get to have any sort of choir this year (which, sadly but honestly, I'm doubting at this point), I'm thinking I'm pretty much just going to pick up where we left off last March. Much of our Holy Week repertoire is pretty fixed, and we were almost ready to go with what was new to them when everything went to pot.
    Thanked by 1trentonjconn
  • I believe I've shared these before, but here are my SAB settings of the Holy Thursday foot washing antiphons in case they prove useful to anyone.

    Here's an organ-only preview of the 6th antiphon so you can get a taste of their style: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1yhRvvEDF3g

    PS-I have a version of this PDF for printing booklet-style on 11x17 paper if anyone is interested.
  • davido
    Posts: 377
    MarkB, Faithful Cross also works really well to PICARDY. It is set that way in worship iii and the new English hymnal.
    Also, I have an SAB version of the reproaches arranged from the New English Hymnal, if you would like to see it, private message me.
  • As I was just recently hired as Choirmaster, I am building a program from scratch this year. I am blessed to have a good depth of singers and an exceptional organist, not to mention a wonderful and orthodox priest. I hope this community doesn't mind me lifting inspirations for programming.
    Thanked by 1marymezzo
  • Jeffrey Quick
    Posts: 1,679
    I'm counting on not being allowed to have anyone back up there with me, so no. Also, there's a new Latin Mass elsewhere in town at a nicer time, so I'd probably be missing some of my old crew anyway. Which is too bad. We were going to do the Allegri Miserere (not the high C version, and with organ, but still a big stretch for my Schola), but COVID got in the way.

  • If I had the choir to do them, I would do Maurice Durufle's Ubi Caritas and Peter Latona's Mandatum on Holy Thursday.
    Thanked by 1marymezzo