Our new music plan
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,108
    We are an EF community, attached to an OF parish. I have been working on a year plan of music that we can use as a basis for our choir. Comment welcome, the music in black text is music we have been singing for in most cases several years, the red text is for music we are learning or plan to learn over the next year. Some of the Issac is not yet on CPDL.
    image
  • JonathanLCJonathanLC
    Posts: 64
    Are there any particular principles you use when planning your music program?
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,108
    @JonathanLC
    I have built on the work of others...
    We were originally a choir that sang chant each Sunday (and Monday in another church), this was gradually increased to include Feast days (and Wednesdays in yet another church).
    Around 10 years ago we were asked to sing polyphony... A former director introduced us to the polyphonic Propers of Isaac, and eventually the Palestrina Offertories. The first Mass we learnt was the Missa Super Dixit Maria, Hasler, and we agreed that their was no good reason not to sing the Credo. We sing a range of Chant Creed ( I, II, IV and VI) so it was not unusual for our Congregation. We are also lucky to have had priests that enjoy chant and polyphony but do not dictate musical repertoire!

    Since our director left us a few years ago, I have been programming the music for the choir. So in addition to the repertoire introduced to us by our previous choir directors my principles are,

    1. We need to sing a range of the Church's vast musical treasures.
    2. Chant should take pride of place, so we have a good proportion of the year with Masses that have Chant Propers and Ordinaries.
    3. Polyphonic Propers are an important part of the Church's musical treasures and should be sung, so we have a number of Sundays and Feast days each year where we will sing the complete Isaac cycle of Propers and the Palestrina Offertory. Over the last few years I have added the Issac Introit, Alleluia and Tracts, to the Communions and Offertories we sang under our last director.
    4. The Polyphonic Ordinaries are an equally important part of our musical treasures, and should be sung in full with their Credo. The polyphonic Credo is an interesting piece of music and we are depriving the Congregation if we do not sing them in the liturgical setting they were written for.
    5. We have a vast range of Latin chant Hymns and while most of these cannot be sung in their Proper place, we can sing them as motets at Mass.
    6. Motets should as far as possible be liturgical pieces of music, rather than just music on a religious theme.
    7. We are not a professional choir and rely on volunteers, some of them professional musicians, so we need a music programme that can interest the professional, and still be attainable by amateur singers and non sight readers.
    8. Overall I am trying to stick to early polyphony as it is usually shorter, as a rule we should not lengthen the Mass too much. Some more modern pieces are also found in the list bring greater variety and hopefully beauty, and are a popular part of our repertoire.
  • LarsLars
    Posts: 48
    incredible
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • Tom,

    I didn't see Elgar's Ave Verum. Might you consider adding it?
    Thanked by 2tomjaw ServiamScores
  • DL
    Posts: 22
    Looking at your criteria, and considering the repertoire at our place, the following three may be of interest. Tallis for 4 is quite snappy and gives a flavour of the more expansive settings of earlier decades (see the beginning of the Sanctus) without sharing their length. No Kyrie, of course, but we either use Taverner Kyrie Le Roy, or sometimes move from a chanted Kyrie to a flowering Gloria. Lassus Octavi Toni (aka Missa Venatorum) is short and sharp and fairly easy. The Monteverdi Messa da Cappella (1641, not 1650) is very pretty.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,325
    We also have the missae Dixit Maria & O quam gloriosum entire; Palestrina's Regina caeli is next on my list. But if accompanied repertoire (i.e. Elgar, which is a better fir for the English text) fits your plan, I'd look at Mozart. "A range of the Church's vast musical treasures" might include Messiaen's O sacrum convivium & Stravinsky too.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • Jeffrey Quick
    Posts: 1,745
    For an additional Ordinary, since you're short on the 19th c. : Rheinberger op. 151. Or one of the Michael Haydn Quadragesima Masses, esp. MH 551 (has continuo which could be omitted), though you might not want to give space to a Mass without a Gloria).

    For motets: Howard Helvey, O Lux Beatissima. In these times, you can probably use a Stella Caeli. There's one by Michael Haydn but it needs organ, or, tada!, mine (video, score)
  • Don9of11Don9of11
    Posts: 485
    The video doesnt play when I try to watch it Jeffrey.
    Thanked by 1Jeffrey Quick
  • Jeffrey Quick
    Posts: 1,745
    Just worked for me, from the link above. Are other YouTubes working for you?
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,659
    Beautiful setting and performance, Jeffrey!! Truly sublime.
    Thanked by 2tomjaw Jeffrey Quick
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,108
    Thank you all for all your kind comments and suggestions, as we move forward we will look to add them to our repertoire.

    As for the news yesterday (discussed ad nausium in other threads), our Bishop has kindly authorised our priests to continue to offer our 'routine' celebrations of the TLM (using a missal prior to 1970!) listing our Mass schedule in his letter.

    In reply we are going to organise a Spiritual bouquet, and a collection for the maintenance of our Cathedral. Of course we will be able to continue implementing this music programme, at the TLM here.
  • I'm late seeing this but had to put in a word.

    Your 14 page plan with links is so very impressive!
    My own plan outlines are put together week by week, and include links to the Gregorian propers for the Sunday or feast.
    how do you record changes in your basic schedule (e.g., Confirmations)?

    lastly - thanks for yr update on your Bishop's authorization. God bless!
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,108
    @mmeladirectress

    The 14 page plan should be seen more of a menu. It allows us to look to see what we can do, and to see what the plan is for each Feast. The next stage is the choir practice where we discuss who is available to sing, and what we can mange. I then send out an e-mail with a final plan for the next few weeks.
  • Don9of11Don9of11
    Posts: 485
    It's working for me now Jeffrey. Very nice.
    Thanked by 1Jeffrey Quick