Vidi Aquam polyphony
  • monkosb
    Posts: 6
    We have been using Ravanello's Vidi Aquam (TTB) during our Easter Vigil which is more than beautiful and very inspiring. However, it's really a little too long (c. 3 min) for accompanying the sprinkling of holy water after the renewal of Baptismal promises. (It almost seems in some ways that the sprinkling is accompanying the chant because the celebrant makes sure to hit everybody so as not to finish too much before the chant.

    Is there another equally beautiful polyphony Vidi Aquam (that can be used for an all-male schola) that's shorter?
    I've been unable to find one.
  • Jeffrey Quick
    Posts: 2,008
    I don't think you're going to have much luck. The antiphon to the chant Vidi clocks in at about a minute (x2) plus the psalm and GP. I can't imagine any polyphony that would be more succinct than the Ravanello.

    There's a Morales Vidi a 4 in high clefs, but if it were done down a 4th or 5th it would still require a countertenor on top. Likewise the Brumel a 4. Ditto the Victoria, which is the most succinct of the could probably do it in 2:45. I haven't found the Ludford yet, isaac is only left in an organ intabulation, there are a plethora of other obscure Renaissance composers who I haven't checked out...go to and type in "vidi aquam". Conceivably you could psalm-tone the Miserere and GP and save some time that way.

    It's more "make the trains run on time" Catholicism. If the chant and the polyphony are all ball-park equal in length, maybe the problem is how the sprinkling is done, or how many people you have to sprinkle, or, oh, anything besides the music.
  • gregpgregp
    Posts: 632
    FYI, Horst Buchholz has an SATB setting as well. I notcied it in the same packet which includes the "Asperges" which was sung at the Colloquium in, I think, 2007.

    I got our copies from Cantica Nova.
  • monkosb
    Posts: 6
    I knew it was a long shot to find something shorter let alone as close in quality as Ravanello; I had already checked out Morales and Victoria but both would be longer. The Buchholz piece has a different feel that probably wouldn't quite fit.

    We're not overly concerned with keeping the Vigil short (only not having it painfully drag) and yes attendance is slowly growing.

    A deacon/priest always proclaims the Exsultet, all of the readings are proclaimed and the Responsorial Psalms are sung in three-part harmony. The tower bells (English change ringing) are rung and the organ flourishes at the Gloria, Eucharistic Prayer 1 is used, and the communio is sung from the Graduale followed by a polyphonic Regina Caeli. All in all an inspiring, prayerful Vigil that all look forward too.
  • RagueneauRagueneau
    Posts: 2,592
    monkosb, it sounds like you're doing fantastic work.

    We had a Franciscan priest who would always have us "recto tone" the VIDI AQUAM on the repeat. The reason? Simply because of its length (and, hence, pastoral sensitivity).
  • I'm sorry to hear that this has been a struggle! I can compose one, if that helps?
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,098
    No need to offer. The discussion took place in 2011. If you do compose a polyphonic Vidi aquam and want to share it with other forum readers, feel free to start a new thread on that topic.
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