Where else to find polyphonic propers?
  • Mark M.Mark M.
    Posts: 632
    I'm spinning off a new thread here from a previous one about Kevin Allen's new work. In response to a question I had posed about the availability of polyphonic propers, our friend Sam ("rich_enough") said:
    (Keep in mind that Aristotle's database covers only those pieces available on CPDL - a tiny fraction of what's out there.)

    (I added the hyperlink there.)

    So, I'm curious… where might I find what else is "out there"? I'll admit that I'm used to being able to download just about everything I'd want, from sources such as CPDL, MusicaSacra, and the Cecilia Schola site. But I also work near an excellent university music library, and could probably find many other polyphonic settings of the texts for the propers.

    Is there a particular volume I should be seeking?
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,403
    My trick is to search Grove (now Oxford Music Online) by title. A few composer worklists are missing, though: notably Handl, who often is useful for 4 part choirs! A lot of DTÖ and other monument editions (sometimes even in G clefs) is appearing at IMSLP, http://imslp.org/wiki/Main_Page
    Thanked by 1rich_enough
  • Try this website for Latin Motets - http://www.arts.ufl.edu/motet/default.asp
  • Of course the UF db is a list of prints and Mss, not editions. Don't forget Isaac. He wrote a complete set of propers (Choralis Constantinus) for the entire year!
  • BachLover2BachLover2
    Posts: 330
    but where are these available?
  • Here is a start IMSLP

    Louise Cuyler transcribed book 3 in the 1950s, which should be available in a good music library.
  • Mark M.Mark M.
    Posts: 632
    Thanks, everyone! As for the IMSLP… very cool! But I tell ya… I can deal with a moveable clef when it's four-line chant notation… not five-line modern notation. (I'll look for that Cuyler book.)
  • Singers need to reclaim the C clef...
  • DougS
    Posts: 793
    Ahhh, the only real advantage violists have over everyone else!
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,374
    Clefs? Clefs? What's this about clefs? Was it clefs in 9th century when Adelbart of York sang with heavenly spirits - unaccompanied, of course? It was not! Is outrage!
  • I remember my first time attending the Amherst Early Music Workshop and being presented with all these C clefs. One quickly learns what one needs to! Now it's not an issue. Start with C and shift everything to match.
  • rich_enough
    Posts: 889
    Fr. Anthony Ruff gives a brief history of polyphonic proper settings (including some composer's names) in his "Sacred Music and Liturgical Reform," pp. 547-551. (You can find these pages in the preview at Google Books.) This is based in part on a book by Walther Lipphardt, "Die Geschichte des mehrstimmigen Proprium Missae" ("The History of the Polyphonic Mass Proper") (Heidelberg: F. H. Kerle Verlag, 1950). According to Ruff (p. 516, n. 32), this book includes a "directory of available polyphonic settings of each Proper" – though by “Proper” it is unclear to me whether he means an individual proper (such as “Puer Natus” for Christmas) or a setting of the entire proper for a given day (a “cycle”). In either case this book looks to be a valuable resource - I have yet to get my hands on a copy.

    Along with Palestrina, Lassus also wrote a collection of offertories but you might not know it, since it’s entitled simply “Sacrae Cantiones” (1585). (See this link: http://tinyurl.com/2ctg7fb) Unlike Palestrina’s collection, they don’t cover the entire year (Sundays of Advent and Lent only, including Lenten weekdays). But they are all for four voices and many are available on CPDL – just type “Lasso” and “offertory” into the search. In fact, entering “offertory,” “introit” etc. into the CPDL search yields many propers not included in Aristotle’s list, though the texts should be checked for fidelity to the liturgy.

    Sam Schmitt
  • Heath
    Posts: 883
    Many of the Lassus offertories are very doable, unlike the Palestrina settings, which are wonderful, but damn hard! (I had the pleasure of having a talented quartet of singers a few years back who would sing the Palestrina settings with me sporadically . . . ah, they're heavenly!)

    The Isaac propers are great as well! I've done a couple with my choir in the past . . . very modal and beautiful! **Would a musician with some time transcribe these settings into "regular" clefs and note values and post them on cpdl.org, please???** I've done a couple that I should get up.
  • Heath, once I get done transcribing Civil War music for an upcoming recording, I'll take on some of the "standards" from Choralis, but one could try scanning into Finale or Sibelius and simply changing the clefs. I still think CMAA should promote clef reading at the next Colloquium. Almost all choral music up to the 20th century was written in C clefs. In order to explore music beyond what the big publishers (Kalmus, Universal, etc) put out, one needs to read C clefs. It's a great tool for your choir because they actually have to see the intervals and not just guess.
  • Erik P
    Posts: 152
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    Michael, you are probably right but we are also blessed to live in times when moving clefs with software is super easy. So why not just rely on the tools we have?
  • DougS
    Posts: 793
    I guess I just don't understand what the big deal is. C clefs are the easiest to read--plus they are already used in chant. If one is trying to sing a piece of music printed in C clefs, just read the clef. There is no need to scan it in, move it all around, etc. when it can simply be read as is.

    For someone who reads any other kind of Western music, there is practically no learning involved. Truly.
  • Simon
    Posts: 136
    The German composer Christian Erbach (ca. 1568 –1635) wrote some propers as well.
  • Simon
    Posts: 136
    Found some more info on Christian Erbach. He wrote a whole cycle of propers for the church year (introit, alleluia and communio). Don't know if these have been published though.
  • I've never sung his music, but have played some of his recorder canzoni. They are excellent and difficult.
  • Simon
    Posts: 136
    There is a couple of Erbach's propers on the Westminster Cathedral recording of the Lassus Missa Bell' Amfitrit' altera - widely available (and recommended).
  • rich_enough
    Posts: 889
    Johann Joseph Fux (c. 1660-1741) wrote a number of propers for SATB available at IMSLP.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,618
    I have a clef pallet.
  • Edgy, Francis, edgy.