Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Holy Week, Part 1

Well, it appears that I made it out of my first Holy Week here relatively unscathed. I'd like to review it, one service at a time . . .

Palm Sunday

Processional: All Glory, Laud and Honor

Psalm: Gelineau

GA: Proulx

Passion: read

Offertory: O Sacred Head (Bock--GIA)

Euch. Accl.: chant

Communion: Pater, si non potest

Recessional: silence

The choir had worked very hard on a setting of "Improperium" (proper text for offertory) by an obscure composer by the name of Cannicciari (found it at cpdl.org), but we had to axe it last minute. It was just too much work to try to do it and the "O Sacred Head" setting. I need to plan better next year; I should have known that with Holy Week right around the corner, trying to take on such a challenging piece would be an extreme time-eater. Lesson learned . . .

Holy Thursday

Processional: "Then let us glory in the cross" (OLD 100TH--Tietze paraphrase of proper Introit)

Kyrie: Mass XVII (my arrangement)

Gloria: Community Mass

(Organ shut off until Gloria of Easter Vigil)

Psalm: chant-like setting

Gospel Acclamation: hmm . . . don't know the composer, come to think of it

Washing of the Feet: "This is my Commandment" (attr. Tallis--not to be confused with his "A New Commandment")
English antiphon of proper text to fill the time

Offertory: "Ubi Caritas" (Durufle)

Euch. Accl.: chant

Communion: "Hoc corpus" (chant)
"Ave Verum Corpus" (Byrd)

Procession with the Blessed Sacrament: "Pange Lingua" (chant)

The congregation really let loose when they sang. I've never heard congregational chant sung so robustly . . . it was quite moving.

I was so proud of the choir; this was a challenging set list for the very little rehearsal time that we had, but they came through in flying colors. The Durufle and the Byrd were wonderful and a male-only Tallis was lovely as well.

Good Friday

Psalm: chant-like setting

GA: same as above

Passion: sung by three cantors with Victoria choruses

Veneration: "The Reproaches" (Sacramentary w/Penkala Trisagion)
"Crux Fidelis" (my setting; PICARDY with WONDROUS LOVE)

Communion: "Ah, Holy Jesus" (standard harmonization)
"O Sacred Head" (standard harmonization)

I haven't heard any feedback from the congregation in regards to the Victoria choruses; I think they worked but I'm biased. He really did a nice job composing these; all begin on an Eb (F in the original, I believe)major chord (with the basses and altos always starting on the Eb pitch). The harmonic structure is similar throughout with just enough variance to keep it interesting.

I did Penkala's setting of the Reproaches at my old parish; I found the refrain to be adequate, the verse tones to be forgettable, but always enjoyed the ethos of the Trisagion. I combined his Trisagion with the refrain and verses from the Sacramentary (and split the difference with the key; Eb minor). Seemed to mesh well . . . I hadn't really looked at the Sacramentary chant much until this year, but it's quite lovely.


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