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In a recent, and successful posting where I asked for help in selecting music for Epiphany, the thread meandered slightly into settings of the Eucharist. I had suggested Darke in F, and Neil Shepherd mentioned Sumsion in F as a good sing. Davidb reminded us of Darke in E (aka Collegium Regale) and Nfortin added Ireland in C with the wonderful Agnus, but also commented on how these settings are becoming neglected and forgotten in most churches due to congregational settings taking precidence.

For a decade or so, I was DoM of a Hertfordshire church where we were allowed to sing a fully choral setting each sunday morning (they still do I think - St Francis Welwyn Garden City). We sang all of the above as well as the following:

Caesar - missa brevis cappella regalis - great fun - esp. the Gloria

Cook in E minor - unaccomp and lovely

Edwards - mass of st olave - mens voices

Howells - coll reg (of course!)

Jackson in G

Leighton in D

Oldroyd - mass of the quiet hour and Missa ave jesu - both worth digging up if you dont know them

Preston - missa brevis (ladies choir - not boys - too hard!)

Stanford in B flat and F

Wills - three part mass (men)

Wood in the Phrygian mode

 

Do you remember any of the above? Do you still offer them in worship? Can you add any to the list?

Sorry if this has been covered - shoot me down if this is the case!

Best wishes

Richard

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Hello

 

Jackson in G, Stanford in Bb and F, Leighton in D and HowColReg are regulars here. A really lovely and fairly straightforward setting I always enjoy is Flor Peeters St Joseph.

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Jackson in G, Stanford in Bb and F, Leighton in D and HowColReg are regulars here. A really lovely and fairly straightforward setting I always enjoy is Flor Peeters St Joseph.

 

Hello David.

Is "here" Romsey Abbey? If so, I was in there a couple of weeks ago. Wonderful building, and so pleased that choral eucharist is still maintained! Don't know the FP setting - will look it up.

Richard

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Jackson in G, Stanford in Bb and F, Leighton in D and HowColReg are regulars here. A really lovely and fairly straightforward setting I always enjoy is Flor Peeters St Joseph.

 

Hello David.

Is "here" Romsey Abbey? If so, I was in there a couple of weeks ago. Wonderful building, and so pleased that choral eucharist is still maintained! Don't know the FP setting - will look it up.

Richard

 

Yay indeed. Should have sent a message, you could have got on the organ. Choral eucharist is mostly maintained - we do the Sanctus, Benedictus and Agnus weekly, and the Gloria once a month (congregational the rest of the month). It is a wonderful building, albeit slightly cold at the moment which turned a two-night recording session last week into a freezing nightmare...

 

The Flor Peeters is published by Kalmus and therefore not expensive.

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That's a good list. I've done some of them: Darke in F, Jackson in G, Oldroyd "Quiet Hour", Wood in the Fridge. I've played a few more for others. I've also done Willian in G and Ireland in C in my time - quite regularly according to my old music lists - but I can't recall a note of either of them!

 

Of course all the best mass settings were written prior to 1700 :), but, within the period you appear to have in mind, Stanford in G communion is well worth doing. I do commend Wills's Missa Eliensis too - good fun, but not easy (and probably out of print these days).

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How about Langlais' Messe Solennelle - just wonderful for Midnight Mass, or

 

Duruflé's Messe “Cum Jubilo” (baritones only so great when the kids are on half term - but you have to be able to count).

 

J

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That's a good list. I've done some of them: Darke in F, Jackson in G, Oldroyd "Quiet Hour", Wood in the Fridge. I've played a few more for others. I've also done Willian in G and Ireland in C in my time - quite regularly according to my old music lists - but I can't recall a note of either of them!

 

Of course all the best mass settings were written prior to 1700 :), but, within the period you appear to have in mind, Stanford in G communion is well worth doing. I do commend Wills's Missa Eliensis too - good fun, but not easy (and probably out of print these days).

The Oldroyd setting was used at Bristol Cathedral on 28th October: pity I missed it as I had never heard this one.

 

Dave

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Guest Barry Williams

A friend of mine, who took over a post as organist & choirmaster a couple of years ago has come up against a new difficulty over settings of Holy Communion. Under his direction and leadership the choir has expanded and is now the largest group in the church and certainly the largest youth organisation in the parish. It has attracted many new church members and is very popular.

 

It was agreed by the incumbent, on the organist's appointment, that the choir would sing at the monthly 'family' service and that the first Sunday of each month would include a choral setting of the Kyrie, Sanctus Benedictus, Agnus Dei and Gloria. Now the churchwardens are moving to abolish the choral settings on the first Sunday, but to retain the choir's presence at the 'family' service to sing choruses, etc., which the choir do do well and in good arrangements that encourage and facilitate full congregational participation, often with instruments played well. The choral settings of Holy Communion used once a month are attractive, accessible and straightforward, including some mentioned in other posts above. From time to time, a small orchestra is brought in for a Haydn, Mozart or Schubert Mass; always one of the shorter settings.

 

Needless to say, there is disquiet. I have pointed out that this is nothing whatsoever to do with churchwardens or PCC, for neither are mentioned in Canon B20. However, the vicar feels that he must take account of 'popular opinion', though there is no evidence whatsoever that anyone in the congregation wishes the present set up to change in any way. The incumbent does not like conflict and is seems willing to go along with the churchwardens as the easiest option

 

I fear that another choir may bite the dust shortly.

 

What would you do?

 

Barry Williams

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What would you do?

 

Barry Williams

 

Install musically-supportive Church Wardens (parents of choristers always helps)

 

Argue for retaining the choral settings on the 1st Sunday on the basis that the current arrangement offers the widest range of worship styles for the local population/parish on a monthly basis. This is easier to argue if the nearest cathedral or other church which offers full settings is more than 20 miles away. In this instance worshippers may come to that choral service from all over the town and may not be just from the local parish..

 

Look at the musical provison of the choral service and see if new things can be introduced which musically involve the congregation more without compromising the choral basis eg responsorial psalms, Gospel Alleluias, sung Sursum Corde etc if these are not sung already.

 

Gary Cole

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What would you do?

 

Barry Williams

 

From a purely liturgical point of view - I speak from the RC perspective though I believe it is acknowledged fairly widely in Anglicanism - music should first and foremost enhance the ordinary of the Mass: the Sanctus, Memorial Acclamation and Great Amen take priority, followed by the Gloria, the Psalm and the Gospel Greeting. Then comes the Kyrie and Agnus Dei and after these come hymns/choruses which should reflect the nature or theme of the Mass. Communion hymns should be sung during and not after Communion (starting preferably at the priests's communion), and should reflect the communal nature of the action and not individual or private participation.

 

But to abolish the choral seting of the Eucharist but to retain hymns/choruses &c makes no liturgical sense. Perhaps this might help.

 

Peter

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Guest Patrick Coleman
What would you do?

 

Barry Williams

 

Encourage him to move to Wales? :)

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As a treble (trouble?) i have sung (in a rough alphabetical order)

 

Darke in E

Darke in F

Harwood in A Flat

Howells 'Col Reg'

Ireland in C

Ley in B Flat

Oldroyd MOTQH

Staham in D (probably a norfolk perculiarity this one)

Stanford in C&F

Sumsion in F

Trant Missa Brevis

Wood in the Fridge

 

and probably some more that escape me at this time

 

Sadly i have accompanied very few of these due to the state of choir these days, and vicar deciding that Thorne in D every week is far more 'exciting' (Quote)

 

My favourite out of these? Darke in E, or possibly Harwood for the totally vulgar benedictus (Thoguh the Faure Requim 'mass' bit is a worthy contender)

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Guest Barry Williams

Whilst I do not have a favourite. there are effective unison settings by Bairstow, Parry, Stanford and many others that enable full congregational participation in the whole of the 'Ordinary'. Regrettably, these never achieved the popluarity of Marbecke.

 

Now, much of this has been supplanted by home grown 'masses', often of rather poor quality, set to very different words.

 

There are some interesting settings by Percy Whitock that run in four parts with the congregation singing the top line - like an hymn tune. Vaughan Williams wrote a setting with a line for the people and four parts for the choir. I think that Leighton in D is similarly structured.

 

Alas, with the current liturgical fashoin these settings are now usually confined to the choir vestry shelves, if not to the bin.

 

Barry Williams

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But to abolish the choral seting of the Eucharist but to retain hymns/choruses &c makes no liturgical sense. Perhaps this might help.

Sadly, I think this argument would be totally lost on the average Anglican congregation that likes to sing hymns, but dislikes having to listen to classical music. They will always stick out for what they want over what is intellectually logical.

 

As for Barry's friend's predicament, I have mentioned before that I once had a somewhat similar scenario at one of my churches where a new priest had his ear severely bent by a vociferous element in the congregation and decided to abolish the many choral services we sang. We (that is, the choir and I) limited the damage by enlisting the goodwill of our supporters in the congregation and simply making more noise than the objectors. As it happened the priest hardly needed any complaints from the congregation - he would ahve stamped on the music anyway - but we did win a significant concession in that he allowed us to retain one fully choral Sunday a month (morning and evening).

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In a recent, and successful posting where I asked for help in selecting music for Epiphany, the thread meandered slightly into settings of the Eucharist. I had suggested Darke in F, and Neil Shepherd mentioned Sumsion in F as a good sing. Davidb reminded us of Darke in E (aka Collegium Regale) and Nfortin added Ireland in C with the wonderful Agnus, but also commented on how these settings are becoming neglected and forgotten in most churches due to congregational settings taking precidence.

For a decade or so, I was DoM of a Hertfordshire church where we were allowed to sing a fully choral setting each sunday morning (they still do I think - St Francis Welwyn Garden City). We sang all of the above as well as the following:

Caesar - missa brevis cappella regalis - great fun - esp. the Gloria

Cook in E minor - unaccomp and lovely

Edwards - mass of st olave - mens voices

Howells - coll reg (of course!)

Jackson in G

Leighton in D

Oldroyd - mass of the quiet hour and Missa ave jesu - both worth digging up if you dont know them

Preston - missa brevis (ladies choir - not boys - too hard!)

Stanford in B flat and F

Wills - three part mass (men)

Wood in the Phrygian mode

 

Do you remember any of the above? Do you still offer them in worship? Can you add any to the list?

Sorry if this has been covered - shoot me down if this is the case!

Best wishes

Richard

We do a fully choral Eucharist on the first Sunday evening of each month (we do a choral Mattins that morning), plus specials such as Ash Wednesday.

 

Current repertoire includes:

 

Byrd a 4

Darke in E

Darke in F

Haydn St Nicholas

Howells Coll Reg

Ireland in F

Leighton in D

Palestrina Missa Brevis

Schubert in G

VW in G minor

Victoria O quam gloriosum

 

That's about as many as the kids can keep alive (once or twice a year)

 

We also have the Faure & Durufle requiems for All Souls.

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Sadly i have accompanied very few of these due to the state of choir these days, and vicar deciding that Thorne in D every week is far more 'exciting' (Quote)

 

We do this one too - there is an effective setting by David Halls from Salisbury Cathedral that appeared in the local Diocesan Choral Festival book a year or two ago which was 'outed' for a while and was congregationally friendly yet interesting enough to challenge choir and organist. We did it for a while as an experiment and then returned to Thorne - possibly because of congregational preference.

 

AJJ

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There is a very effective 4 part + congregation with organ accompaniment setting by the contemporary American composer Richard Proulx called Mass for the City. It has optional brass and tympani parts.

 

Peter

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.....and vicar deciding that Thorne in D every week is far more 'exciting' (Quote)

 

A thorne in your side, perhaps?

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We do a fully choral Eucharist on the first Sunday evening of each month (we do a choral Mattins that morning), plus specials such as Ash Wednesday.

 

Current repertoire includes:

 

Darke in E

Heard this at Bristol Cathedral this morning. First time I ever heard it: sounded fantastic.

 

Dave

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Of course all the best mass settings were written prior to 1700 :P

 

... and the very best ones before 1600 - Byrd, Palestrina, Victoria, Lassus, Josquin. My favourite has to be the mass in four parts by Byrd.

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... and the very best ones before 1600 - Byrd, Palestrina, Victoria, Lassus, Josquin. My favourite has to be the mass in four parts by Byrd.

 

For me, Byrd's Mass for five voices has the edge over the four-part setting; the second tenor line gives the texture a fuller sonority.

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