Choir and Organ Accomp. Mass
  • I'm thinking of using an organ accompanied ordinary setting for our choir next season, and wondering if people have any favorites. I live in chant and polyphony land, so I'm hoping to discover some great music for choir and organ.

    A plus would be a work that is well known enough to be sung by lots of serious choirs. One of my goals is for people who sing under my direction to be able to walk into another sacred music program and be familiar enough with the repertoire to be comfortable and an immediate asset.

    Great, free, doable, and not lengthy.


    Here are specifics in list form:
    ~ SATB or SSATBB
    ~ Latin (EF parish)
    ~ Open source/ free (parish budget spent on musicians)
    ~ Not an orchestral or extended setting, though a good organ reduction is fine- length main concern
    ~ Not terribly interested in most of Gounod, Saint-Saens, or other syrupy-leaning setting
    ~ Tenor and Soprano not exceeding F#-G at the top of their ranges, moderate tessituras
    ~ Bass and Alto not exceeding F at the bottom of their ranges
    ~ More lyrical, and not entirely chordal-dominated texture preferred
  • If you're limited to free resources, I'd recommend
    Haydn's Kleine Orgelmesse (No. 7 in Bb) Missa Brevis Sancti Joannis de Deo
    http://www1.cpdl.org/wiki/index.php/Kleine_Orgelmesse_(Mass_no._7_in_Bb_Major)_(Joseph_Haydn)
    Buxtehude's Missa Brevis http://www1.cpdl.org/wiki/index.php/Missa_Brevis_(Dietrich_Buxtehude)

    Since you are looking for a setting for the next choir season, it would be in the next fiscal year so perhaps there is some opportunity to up the current music budget ever so slightly, then I would definitely recommend:
    Missa Orbis Factor by Gerald Near
    Missa Brevis by Peter Mathews
    Missa Brevis by Lennox Berkeley
  • Thanks! They are so very different, and yet present some great material for choral training. The Haydn may be more well-known, but I also have a soft spot for Buxtehude.

    Keep ideas coming- much appreciated.
  • ClergetKubiszClergetKubisz
    Posts: 1,895
    Mass of Wisdom by Stephen Janco. It's in English, but it has great SATB parts.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,258
    Have you looked at JO's site?
  • Will look at Jeff's site- thanks.
    Klerget- needs to be in Latin (EF) but thanks.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,258
    MCW... did you say LATIN? I have lots of those! I do sell them, however.
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,437
    Mary Ann,

    Have you looked at the Missa Prima and Missa Secunda by Michael Haller on CPDL? They're both SAB but they are quite nice. Missa Prima has an organ accompaniment.

    Hassler's Missa Secunda is also quite lovely, but it's acapella. Score here.

    I'm also quite interested in this SATB arrangement with organ accompaniment of Du Mont's Messe Royale on Sheet Music Plus. It's $13 /score, though. It sounds quite intriguing. Does anyone know anything about this arrangement?
  • CGM
    Posts: 446
    Here is an astonishing collection of free organ Masses. They're mainly by German composers, but certainly not all.

    The Dubois Messe Breve is very nice.
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,437
    I would highly recommend looking at Antonio Salieri's Hoffkapellmeistermesse (1788) (Mass No. 2 in D) at CPDL.

    The treble does go up to 'A' about 5 times - and apart from an extended ff 'A' in the two hosannas (approached by a leap of an octave, double in accompaniment), and an 'A' approached by a skip of a fourth (doubled in accompaniment), the remaining three are approached by going up the scale (doubled in accompaniment).

    I have noticed that the Bass tessitura in Salieri's (the real one, not me) church music is relatively high - hanging around middle 'D' a lot, basically making them more Baritone parts. I am speculating that there must have been a relatively low pitch standard at the Imperial Hoffkapell in the late 18th century, so it might be well to transpose down if possible.

    There are two strategically placed fugatos: one at the 'Amen' of the Gloria, and another at the 'dona nobis'. I have also noticed that Salieri must have timed the Sanctus and Benedictus movements of his Masses - the Sanctus/Hosanna ends nicely before the consecration, and the Benedictus doesn't require the priest to wait too long (maybe a few seconds) before the "per omnia saecula".

    Even if you don't use it, still give a read-through and a listen - he's a much better composer than people give him credit for, and his church music is well worth getting acquainted with.

    Here's the Gloria:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PaP0sMJCFZ4

    and the Benedictus (my favorite movement):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZK0TGvYlwt8
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • mrcoppermrcopper
    Posts: 647
    (parish budget spent on musicians)


    Please review that thought from time to time, and ask yourself if it is right. It takes me weeks of work to write music, it takes you hours to prepare it. You are to be paid, I not to be paid? I don't have problems with composers and editors offering free music, but I do have problems with professional musicians seeking free music exclusively.

    William
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,258
    mrcopper

    I sympathize with your frustration, but purchasing music is probably last on the list of any DM's budget. I can understand this mentality because of sites like CPDL and IMSLP. I take advantage of them myself. I have over 10,000 pages of organ music and building, just from IMSLP alone.

    I came to the conclusion decades ago that composers never make money composing music (unless maybe they get a contract composing for a major film). Therefore, the best bet for us is to get a job playing and conducting and including our own compositions into the performing process. I think that is how almost all other composers did it. They believed in what they composed and used it in their own performing/conducting gigs. Thoughts?
  • Karl Kempter, Griesbacher, Rheinberger. They can be found at CPDL.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,798
    Another vote for Salieri's Mass in D (correction: it's his Mass #1). Masterworks Chorale of Boston presented it in November, using the CPDL score. Some portions could definitely be used in a parish setting.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • To clarify, the budget is decided solely by the pastor. Since we can get enough music for free, it has been the practice that it's not bought. This is limiting, to be sure.

    I just don't want anyone to think that is my rule of some sort, or any rule. It's just a point of practicality.

    I have great admiration for fine composers. Personally, I have a joy and desire for contemporary (not in the cheesy sense!) composition. I studied it well beyond my course requirements as an undergrad and as a graduate student, and wish I had more time to get back to it. One of my projects as an undergrad in comp lab was to write my own ordinary for my Nuptial Mass. I was motivated to do so since the choir at the parish only sang "Mass of Creation" for weddings and I just couldn't stand it anymore. Funny, but true.

    I can't use my own composition since it's in English. :)

    Thanks again for all the recommendations. I will check out the Salieri. I sang the role of Carolina in his "Secret Marriage" and remember thinking he was underrated. Pity that the movie "Amadeus" treated his memory without regard.
    Thanked by 1Salieri
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,437
    Personally, I have a joy and desire for contemporary (not in the cheesy sense!) composition.


    Has Frank LaRocca written a Mass yet?
  • kenstb
    Posts: 358
    It should be noted that the movie "Amadeus" also portrayed Wolfgang Mozart as a drunken buffoon. It was, after all, a work of fiction.
  • Frank LaRocca has written an SAB mass, iirc. Thanks for the reminder. Maybe he's written something more recently. His work is top notch.

    True, Ken. Lots of non-musicians don't get that. If I had a dime for every time someone quoted that movie like it was a documentary... :)
  • StimsonInRehabStimsonInRehab
    Posts: 1,559
    ~ Not terribly interested in most of Gounod, Saint-Saens, or other syrupy-leaning setting


    More and more, I get the feeling I am the only person in this forum who likes the French Romantic period. :(
  • StimsonInRehabStimsonInRehab
    Posts: 1,559
    There's J.G. Zangl's Mass in Honor of St. Louis. Don't know if you'd consider it too saccharine or not:

    http://www.free-scores.com/download-sheet-music.php?pdf=3150
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,437
    Stimson - I like French Romantic, too. But choirs have to be careful with it, if it's not handled well it becomes too saccharine. Franck's Psalm 150 is a joy to sing, especially in the original French.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,258
    Stimson:

    This is an an extreme generalisation and there are always exceptions, so take it for what it's worth.

    I feel and think that sacred music reached its height at the Baroque, and then it all went downhill except for a few standalones here and there. Harmonic theory tanked, and went I, IV, V (especially the compositions of the great classical composers) and counterpoint swiftly became a lost art altogether. Up to the Baroque, the music was transparent and timeless. After that it became earthy, opaque and became the object of its own devotion, and more novel as time went on until it arrived at the apex of decay in serialism (out of chaos, order) which also reflects the philosophy of modernism.
  • ryandryand
    Posts: 1,567
    Please review that thought from time to time, and ask yourself if it is right. It takes me weeks of work to write music, it takes you hours to prepare it. You are to be paid, I not to be paid? I don't have problems with composers and editors offering free music, but I do have problems with professional musicians seeking free music exclusively.


    Unless you were commissioned for anything beforehand, its rather entitled to expect any financial gain.

    Its like the woodworker with a shop full of hand-made cabinet knobs who gets upset that paid contractors are using cheaper mass-produced knobs from the hardware store. Unless there was a clear market for his goods, there was no reason for him to produce them all in the first place, and to be upset that contractors are being paid for their work while his product goes unused is insane. "They ought not be paid for their time and handiwork if my product is not being purchased!"
  • kenstb
    Posts: 358
    Any one of us involved in procuring, teaching and performing liturgical music is aware of the need to pinch pennies. It is part of the job. I think that it is great if we can help steer a colleague in the right direction in this regard. We are all joined in the one baptism, and I count it as a blessing if one of us can help another colleague to accomplish great things.
  • dad29
    Posts: 1,723
    Don't know if they're off-copyright yet (should be VERY near so), but both the Mass in Honor of St Joseph and the Missa Laudis in Hon. of St John Baptist of Flor Peeters are terrific works for SATB and organ. Not difficult, modal-based, and both show excellent text/music conformity.

    Copyright was held by McLaughlin & Reilly, but they went kaput at least 30 years ago.
    Thanked by 2BruceL kenstb
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,798
    McLaughlin & Reilly rights went to Alfred Music.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,036
    More and more, I get the feeling I am the only person in this forum who likes the French Romantic period. :(


    Not true! I play quite a bit of that organ music, and definitely prefer it to German Baroque. I must admit that I do like French Baroque, as well.
  • French Baroque. Excellent reminder of under appreciated music, IMO. Heady and sumptuous. Contrapuntal satisfying.

    Anyone used any Charpentier with their choirs?
  • I forgot to add-
    The Credo needn't be taken into consideration. As a practical matter, we don't usually sing that movement of a choral mass. The congregation seems to own it, and it has saved us time to apply to other motets.

    Ours is still a new choir, very much in the developing repertoire stage.
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 1,861
    French Baroque. Excellent reminder of under appreciated music, IMO. Heady and sumptuous. Contrapuntal satisfying.
    Ah, the Golden Age of the Low Mass with motets! Charpentier is the special case and his ordinaries are listed here. The Requiem H7 is very beautiful with only organ bc and very mixed-choir friendly tessiaturas.

    We've done the Alma Mater, the 4-part Regina caeli H.46 and the Shepherd's Cantata H.314, which has quite wonderful use of recorders alternating and together with violins.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,130
    Richard ... you've done some of the best Charpentier, for sure.
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,437
    I don't know if you're still looking, Mary Ann, but the Missa Benedicamus Domino by Lorenzo Perosi contains some lovely passages and doesn't seem terribly difficult.

    The score is available at CPDL.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-GwMiyTTfnY
  • MaryAnn,

    Years ago I sang Charpentier's In Nativitatem, which, while not a Mass, is eminently singable. You might try his Messe de Minuit. I didn't see Hans Leo Hassler's Missa Secunda (which is available at cpdl.org

  • eft94530eft94530
    Posts: 1,574
    StimsonInRehab: only person in this forum who likes the French Romantic

    We are not alone.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDehSF8mXK0
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDehSF8mXK0
    What is not to like? :-)

    Oh, and the score:
    http://imslp.org/wiki/Messe_Solennelle,_Op.16_%28Vierne,_Louis%29
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • I want to lend support to mrcopper's observations. While there is much available nowadays that is both good and free, there is much more that is good and not free. It is unwise and parsimonious to be willing to pay performers but not composers. What a hollow boast: 'we pay our singers, but we only perform what is free'! This is a not very admirable policy which can result in a much less than admirable repertory. True, if mrcopper writes music that is not commissioned and he doesn't publish it, then he can't very well be indignant. But if he does publish it and it is a worthy contribution to the repertory, it doesn't speak well of any choirmaster who won't perform it because it isn't free. How cheap! The catalogues of Oxford and Novello, to name just two, are replete with fabulous new church music compositions of ordinaries and anthems in English as well as Latin by modern composers who are the heirs of Palestrina and Byrd. Not to perform them because they aren't free is to spite one's self, and rob the Church of truly good modern (as opposed to 'contemporary' drivel) music.
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    Jackson, you have in no way advanced the merits of either preference.
    First of all, please recognize that you dwell musically in a very enriched and less than diverse music cultural environment. Secondly, as you are aware that within the Roman Rite DM's are confronted with concerns much more myriad than whether $=quality.
    As someone who has paid his own money for choir quantities of Mueller's Tertione and Clark's "Mass of the Angels," as well as having employed Nickels Therese of Liseaux and Ostrowski's "English Saints" and others from CPDL/CCW and other commons sources, the critical decision happens before the download or paypal button is pushed.
    I applied the same critical analysis for the other new settings back in 2010 from the Big Three before making decisions that would affect 15 Masses per week, and advice disseminated among music leadership subsequently. And none of "their front runners" have ever made my cut.
    The real issue for DMs in this era centers around the discipline to resist marketing and conventionality, and to apply themselves to a reality that their decisions are meant to stand for the long haul, the artistic legacy and the spiritual benefit. $ is just $. Integrity is everything.
  • Integrity is everything.

    Hear, hear!
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • Annabel
    Posts: 12
    If there were any money for scores (and next season included Christmastide), George Malcolm's Missa ad Praesepe for SATB (with divisi) and organ would meet the requirements for a great, well-known Mass of less than fifteen minutes' duration (with no Credo).
  • mrcoppermrcopper
    Posts: 647
    While there is much available nowadays that is both good and free, there is much more that is good and not free.


    Actually, there are four categories, all quite well represented in life and literature: G&F, G&NF, NG&F, NG&NF.

    And I don't think any of us who write, free or not, feel 'entitled' to have our music used. Except Andre Previn, maybe, or some of the others who use their celebrity status to push their music more than is warranted.
  • mrcoppermrcopper
    Posts: 647
    Richard Mix, thanks for the mention of the Charpentier Requiem mass

    Golden Age of the Low Mass with motets! Charpentier is the special case and his ordinaries are listed here. The Requiem H7 is very beautiful with only organ bc and very mixed-choir friendly tessiaturas.


    I had not looked at his music before, very lovely work. Also shows quite well how to handle imitation at the fifth in nearly classical tonal harmony.
  • Andrew Malton
    Posts: 787
    The above mentioned CPDL entry is here (working link).
    Thanked by 2mrcopper CHGiffen
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,036
    Many of the works on CPDL are not readily available elsewhere. It is not a matter of only going for the free stuff, many of those compositions haven't been in print for years. I buy music when it is well-written and a good fit for my choir and parish. There is a lot of junk music out there put out by publishers who are trying to turn a profit and stay in business. Thank goodness for CPDL.
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,437
    This:

    Many of the works on CPDL are not readily available elsewhere. It is not a matter of only going for the free stuff, many of those compositions haven't been in print for years.


    One of the things I enjoy is music by obscure composers, or even obscure music by famous composers. Many of them are obscure for a reason, but sometimes you can find real gems.

    Here's a lovely little piece by James Kent, for Unison Chorus and Organ, It Is a Good Thing to Give Thanks.
    http://www2.cpdl.org/wiki/images/sheet/kent-iti.pdf
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,036
    Thanks, Salieri. What a delightful little piece. It will soon be heard in my parish.