French plainsong
  • YouTube is full of curious things. Here is the channel of François Gineste, a French cantor, choirmaster of Saint-Irénée Byzantine (Russian) Catholic church, in Lyons, France, who spent years adapting not only Russian polyphony, but Gregorian chant as well, into French: https://www.youtube.com/@FrancoisGineste
    What do you think of it?
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  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,775
    That url doesn't work as a link, but I was able to find Ad te levavi (The syntax [less-than]a href="url">link</a[greater-than] seems to alway work for me.)
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  • Very interesting!
    Gineste sings like a French version of Perez.


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  • I’m a big fan of rendering Gregorian chant into the vernacular (if the alternative is not to have plainchant at all). He does seem to have some interesting ideas about rhythm, however.
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  • "He does seem to have some interesting ideas about rhythm, however."
    To my ears, what I perceive is that he seems to be following the mensural rhythm (of the mensuralist school of Vollaerts, Murray and Van Biezen) that, based on semiological analysis of ancient manuscripts, establishes approximately twice the duration for long notes in relation to short ones and some double-long ones here and there in cadences. In the oriscus he made mordents and in the quilisma almost a gruppetto. It is possible to feel an almost regular pulsation, but which changes rhetorically and agogically to create dynamic phrasing.
  • Ngl, lovely idea, but i find it hard to listen to.
    Maybe its just because i dont like french.
    But in general i think like vernacular adaptations of the Latin chants come out a bit weak. This could be a negative predisposition at work, but it just seems like the Style of Chant is optimised for latin and will always suffer translation loss.
    With the german plainchant aswell i always feel like it comes out a bit weak. Now i think German Plainchant is the best in terms of the feeling, due to personal bias and the deep conviction that Germanitas will prevail, but even it cannot adapt the original Chants in a way that could ever even remotely rival the original quality.
    (Everything that germans set to heart will conquer the world. The dominance of modernism in the church is proof of that)
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  • But in general i think like vernacular adaptations of the Latin chants come out a bit weak. This could be a negative predisposition at work, but it just seems like the Style of Chant is optimised for latin and will always suffer translation loss.
    This is self evident, is it not? Of course, something is ALWAYS lost in translation. That said, that does not mean it isn't worth translating.

    To stretch a little with an analogy:
    If you can have grandma's cake, made by grandma herself, it is always the best. But if Aunt Susan makes it based on her recipe, it's still pretty darn good, and well-worth eating, even if it isn't exactly how grandma always did it. If you don't take the compromise, you'll never have cake again once grandma dies!
  • Gineste sings like a French version of Perez.

    His approach to plainsong is a Peresian one in many respects. I understand why some people don't like it, but I do like it very much. Evidently, this has some downsides, it's not really a method for the congregation to follow.

    He does seem to have some interesting ideas about rhythm, however.

    He does. As far as I know, Gineste is no big fan of the "Méthode de Solesmes".
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,176
    fixed the link
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