Sunday, November 18, 2007

Missa Emmanuel and Gloria for Christmastime

Since I know this is a bone of contention between myself and PT, I’ll give some extra commentary on these two choices.

The Missa Emmanuel has been done at my parish for the past few years. The sense I get is that it is well-appreciated here. I personally quite like it musically, particularly the Sanctus’s implicit connection between “Rejoice! Rejoice!” and “Hosanna!” The choral harmonies in the Lamb of God are goofy, yes, but we’re not doing them, so that ain’t a concern. :) We also are not doing those repeats. Apparently the parish sings well enough without them.

And then, the Gloria for Christmastime. Of the several responsorial Gloria settings with the LES ANGES refrain, GIA publishes the two that are musically the most solid, IMO: Proulx and Niel. The latter, though better crafted than Proulx, is in Latin - which would probably get me in trouble, at least with some of the singers who find Latin a substantial challenge. (And for such singers, the Gloria is quite a bit of text.)

Anyway, the Proulx is not too bad. It’s not his best work, but neither does it offend.

Why did I choose it? The parish is used to singing that refrain to a Gloria at Christmas. The Laginya setting that they have been using is pretty silly harmonically, IMO. The setting in Choral Praise is similarly so.

Yes, it was $60 or so for the parish spent on a Mass setting that a) is, owing to its responsorial form, not a liturgical ideal, and b) will possibly be obsolete soon anyway. Still, the musical benefits, IMO, outweigh these.


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