St. Bonaventure’s Liber Usualis thoughts?
  • Jz00533
    Posts: 32
    Hello! I’m looking for reviews of St. Bonaventure’s 1952 Liber Usualis reprint. Misty on the quality of the binding/printing.

    I’d like a pre-55 Liber if possible, but have heard it is not as superior of binding compared to some 62 options that are more afforadable.

    Namely, I’m curious as to how thick it is (I’ve heard the pages are thicker than other options), if it sits flat in the hand, and if it holds up over time.
  • Jeffrey Quick
    Posts: 1,778
    We got some for the music library where I worked, as soon as they came out, and they seemed to hold up pretty well, but they were non-circulating and so didn't get the ultimate test.
  • Jz00533
    Posts: 32
    Sound good! Thanks for the response. Were they unreasonably thick/did they sit flat and well in the hand?
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,154
    Those 1952 liber reprints are not well bound, but last a few years before repairs are needed. Although some of the 1962 reprints are not that better.
  • Jz00533
    Posts: 32
    What would you say are the best quality reprints out there? Pre-55 or not.

    And in particular, how are they not bound well? They are smyth sewn, aren't they after all?
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,154
    I have had several copies of the 1952 reprint, and all suffer from a number of problems,
    1. The L.U. is a thick book so is difficult to bind in a way that can withstand daily / weekly use.
    2. The end papers are far too thin
    3. The cover is also week at the edges so starts to break after a year our two
    4. There are no strengthening bands across the spine tied into the end papers

    I have not seen any other reprints, as the new 1962 versions are usually from unsold stock from the 1960's. Sometimes they have been rebound.

    My best copies have been brought second hand, and have original binding from the 1950's.
    Thanked by 1rich_enough
  • Jeffrey Quick
    Posts: 1,778
    "the new 1962 versions are usually from unsold stock from the 1960's"
    That may be true in Britain.
    This is the more usual reprint in the US:https://www.pcpbooks.net/prestashop/books-in-print/89108-1963-liber-usualis.html

    For weekly use, I recommend their reprint of the Liber Brevior. The typography isn't good (wasn't in the original); quilismas in particular need to be divined by context. But it's light, sturdy, will get a schola through 95%+ of what they need to do, and is half the price.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • JonathanKKJonathanKK
    Posts: 527
    The Liber Brevior is excellent bang for your buck. When I was directing a schola, I bought the LB for several singers who did not have their own LU. Practically, for thirty-odd dollars each it saved printing propers every week, besides which I am philosophically in favor of using books. Etc.

    Please note: in an ideal world we ought all to sing from the Graduale and Antiphonale and get away from anthologies. A theory of mine is that the dominance of the LU/LB and such has only served to reinforce the Latin rite's incorrect tendency to think that sung liturgy is only for Sundays and feasts. However, I do not know of a reprint in one volume of either the old Graduale or Antiphonale.

    P.S. I am not opposed to a Vesperale either, or a book of Compline for the whole year. I just like to see editions that cover all days for whatever it is.
    Thanked by 2tomjaw ServiamScores
  • Jz00533
    Posts: 32
    Gotcha, see I’ve thought of a Brevior, however, I do sing at enough weekday Masses to perhaps justify the purchase of a Usualis. And also attend Sunday chanted Vespers often enough.