"Unread memo to composers: 'Set the propers'"
  • For reading and discussion. I didn't realize how long this piece would become, yet it's still a first draft of sorts.

    Unread memo to composers: 'Set the propers'
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,380
    I will be interested to read this, Aristotle, and give you my thoughts.
  • Many are already set; one of the projects I’d love to see spin off Anthony Ruff’s recent book is some sort of catalogue of historical proper settings.

    And of course, since many offertories come from psalms, it follows that modern vernacular anthem-style settings of those psalms are good to go, too. WLP has a fantastic setting of Psalm 137, “By the Rivers of Babylon” by Nicholas Palmer that we are using at my church this weekend as a “replacement” for the “Super flumina Babylonis” offertory.
  • incantuincantu
    Posts: 989
    It's a real challenge to find settings of the propers that are within the means of today's choirs. A lot more literature would be available if I had a 5-part group, but at most I have 4. I have a particular interest in new music and would program a lot more recent compositions if more composers turned to the propers for their texts. Richard Rice's "Maneant" for Holy Thursday is a good example of the type of writing I would like to see.
  • Mark M.Mark M.
    Posts: 632
    (Jeffrey, please kindly check that link!)
  • whoops, sorry. fixed.
  • Mark M.Mark M.
    Posts: 632
    My gosh… an online Google spreadsheet, I just realized. (Earlier, I had just looked at Aristotle's front page.) I think I have the Excel version somewhere on my hard drive, but this is cool… from a techie standpoint, at the least!
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,380
    I read your post, Aristotle. Well said.

    I was really interested in the part about the vernacular. (that word is so close to secular, it scar(e)s me). You have reaffirmed my own thinking... 'the shifting sands of English translation' as a deep concern to composers of serious sacred music (who have no concern about money, fame, being published or performed). Most good music gets into the repertoire long after the death of most serious composers. Hence why we have such a hard time attributing the best to WHO? I am in it for the long haul. Excellent sacred music is timeless, and Latin (in my mind) is a given. Reminds me of the parable of building one's house on sand. Don't really want to construct (compose) music on the shifting sand of questionable translations either. And why should we? Latin rules.