Palm Sunday choral anthem?
  • I’m curious what kinds of Palm Sunday choral anthems folks out there have used before?

    Last year I used Carlo Rossini’s “Improperium exspectavit” (the offertory text), which wasn’t as good as I was hoping. It starts out ok, but doesn’t really go much of anywhere.

    The Lassus setting of that text is very nice, but I’m currently looking for something that’s in a more “vernacular” musical idiom.

    Thoughts? Esp. anything from St. James worth picking up?
  • Chris
    Posts: 80
    One of the pieces I've used in the past is a nice straight forward open metered SATB chant-like composition called "Jesus Christ Is the Lord" by Fr. Andre Gouez (I think that's his last name - I'll have to check and get back to you). It's published by GIA and the text is the 2nd reading from Phillipians. Not too difficult to put together; very efffective for Palm Sunday.
  • G
    Posts: 1,391
    Gouzes, perhaps?

    (Save the Liturgy, Save the World)
  • incantuincantu
    Posts: 989
    At the French church we use "Le Christ s’est fait pour nous obéissant" (Gounod) and Vexilla regis (SAB, Dufay),
    but I also like "Christus factus est" (Bruckner) and that old standby "God So Loved the World" (Stainer),
  • Lawrence
    Posts: 123
    Bruckner's In Monte Oliveti. Great work of an under-appreciated composer. That's a two for one deal!
  • Chris
    Posts: 80
    Thank you, G. It is indeed Gouzes!
  • Jscola30
    Posts: 116
    Adoremus Te, Christe by DuBois from the Seven Last Words of Christ. Pretty easy, very beautiful.
  • David AndrewDavid Andrew
    Posts: 1,193
    British composer Ian Kellam has a nice little vernacular anthem, "Dear Lord, Who Bore Our Weight of Woe," published by RSCM and sold through GIA. Although the accompaniment looks suspiciously pianistic, I think it could be adapted to the organ with little difficulty.

    I do have a few misgivings about recommending it, because the text is not derived from the liturgy, but is a freely composed devotional text by Timothy Dudley-Smith. I've used it in the past, and I'm reusing it this year for the sake of simplicity. I'd rather focus the choir's energies on learning some new repertoire for Lent, then start revamping the music for Triduum and Easter next program year. (A "Marshall Plan" for our music, if you will). My hesitancy in making too many changes to the music is two-fold: 1) the learning curve of the choir and 2) the pastor has asked for very slow change to the liturgies of the Triduum and Easter because several years ago there was a severe rupture in the "style" of these liturgies, and it was a source of injury to the congregation. I'll take his cue on this one.
  • JDE
    Posts: 586
    There's a set called Three Motets from the Gospel of John from CPH (the Lutheran house). One of those is God so loved the world, and it is a refreshing change from the Stainer. The harmonies are interesting. All three pieces are brief and a capella. The composer is Kevin J. Sadowski. Good luck. For the record, my group sings this piece down a whole step because the tessitura is too high, esp. for the tenors.

    We also use an SATB piece by Healey Willan, a great composer in his own right, called Behold the Lamb of God. It's officially SATB and Organ, but the vast majority of the piece is SB. It's simple, solemn and effective.

    (edited to correct "DuBois" to "Stainer." D'oh!)
  • IanWIanW
    Posts: 749
    Have you looked at Gibbons' and Weelkes' settings of "Hosanna to the Son of David"? They're both excellent vernacular settings, and available on CPDL.
  • Ah . . . what I'm using versus what I'd like to use; two different things.

    Here's some other suggestions from my sample library:

    "Hosanna filio David" setting by Victoria (SATB, moderately easy)
    "My Song is Love Unknown" setting by Malcolm Archer (2 soprano/treble voices and organ; used it last year with my treble choir)
  • IanWIanW
    Posts: 749

    Ah ... the difference between a singer and an organist/DoM. We go where we find the opportunity, and don't expect to be paid (or paid much) for the chance to do what do for those who appreciate it. You have the the more onerous but potentially more fulfilling task of building the musical ars celebrandi in one place. The grass is always greener ...

    p.s. try "<~/~i~>" (minus the quotes and ~).
  • I’m not sure we’ll do it this year, but a friend of mine referred me to T. Tertius Noble “Go to Dark Gethsemane” from CPDL, which looks pretty amazing.

    I do have to wonder how fitting “Hosanna” is as an offertory. The chant propers, at least, seem much more focused on the crucifixion by that point of the Mass.
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    It may be below your choir, but last year we did the 3 part "There is a Green Hill Far Away" in Willan's "We Praise Thee" book, available from CPH.
  • A non-liturgical, but apt and effective anthem for choir at Offertory or....
    CAROL OF THE HILL by Stephen Paulus, moderately easy, well written, should be well received.
  • "Hosanna to the Son of David". Orlando Gibbons and Thomas Weelkes, both Elizabethan English composers, each wrote a good 6-part setting that isn't too difficult.