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... and the very best ones before 1600 - Byrd, Palestrina, Victoria, Lassus, Josquin.

Absolutely. I think my favourite of all masses is Tallis's seven-part "Puer natus est nobis". I would love to do this for a Christmas midnight mass. The congregation would still be there at 2.30 in the morning, but what the heck.

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I think this thread has begun to wander a little, as they all do. It started out reflecting on mass settings that used to be in regular use in "ordinary" parish churches, as opposed to settings which are still in use in cathedrals and churches with choirs of near-cathedral size and standards.

 

Pre Series 3 (for those of us old enough to remember), I guess most churches with a 4-part choir did Sumsion in F, Darke in F, and the like, maybe with bits of Merbecke or the Shaw Anglican Folk Mass thown in. Then along came Series 3, and before you could blink it was all Rutter or the (IMHO) dreadful Dom Gregory Murray. So whilst its good to hear that there are still a few die-hards out there keeping Darke in F, Ireland in C et al alive, few of us are now allowed to stray from "congreational" settings.

 

In terms of cathedral repertoire, I personally don't find many of the classical mass settings particularly helpful to worship, even though they were generally not written as concert pieces. My own favourites as successful liturgical pieces are VW Mass in G minor, which is just sublime, and the Vierne Messe Solenelle which has everything you could want in terms of power, excitement and serenity.

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Guest Barry Williams

It is interesting to read the comments about Dom Gregory Murray's setting. This started out as a Latin setting about 1948. It went through several transformations before ending up as a 'Series III' setting. It has had a few further changes since, some, I suspect, since DGM has passed on. Notwithstanding any defects, it must surely be one of the hardy annuals now.

 

Barry Williams

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It is interesting to read the comments about Dom Gregory Murray's setting.....it must surely be one of the hardy annuals now.

 

Barry Williams

 

Anyone got some weedkiller then?

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I think this thread has begun to wander a little, as they all do. It started out reflecting on mass settings that used to be in regular use in "ordinary" parish churches, as opposed to settings which are still in use in cathedrals and churches with choirs of near-cathedral size and standards.

When I was a young lad in what, for want of a more accurately descriptive term, we called our church choir, we did Woodward in E flat week in, week out - and did it congregationally, even it must have been written for choir only. I've not heard it since and have no desire to either.

 

In terms of cathedral repertoire, I personally don't find many of the classical mass settings particularly helpful to worship, even though they were generally not written as concert pieces.

I agree. I can imagine that at an 18th-centuryCatholic service in a Rococo church they would have fitted the bill perfectly, but, to my mind, they are inimical to the Anglican liturgy.

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I think this thread has begun to wander a little, as they all do. It started out reflecting on mass settings that used to be in regular use in "ordinary" parish churches, as opposed to settings which are still in use in cathedrals and churches with choirs of near-cathedral size and standards.

 

Thanks! I was just about to say something almost identical!

Mind you, I love the way some threads digress - that is part of the fun of the Mander board......

Richard

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Hi Richard

 

I thought the topic was "Mass Settings: what is your favourite?" on account of that being what it says in 'View New Posts'.

 

Where did I (and others) go wrong?

 

Best wishes

 

J

 

 

I think this thread has begun to wander a little, as they all do. It started out reflecting on mass settings that used to be in regular use in "ordinary" parish churches, as opposed to settings which are still in use in cathedrals and churches with choirs of near-cathedral size and standards.

 

Thanks! I was just about to say something almost identical!

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Guest Patrick Coleman
It is interesting to read the comments about Dom Gregory Murray's setting. This started out as a Latin setting about 1948. It went through several transformations before ending up as a 'Series III' setting. It has had a few further changes since, some, I suspect, since DGM has passed on. Notwithstanding any defects, it must surely be one of the hardy annuals now.

 

Barry Williams

 

But it worked in Latin/Greek - the rot set in with the attempt to pair it with English texts, when the stark simplicity started to become the triteness we now hear too often.

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Then how about Bevenot's 2-part settings of the Latin text? I still use them (now andf then) but when he set the English text the result was not, in my opinion, so successful.

 

Peter

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Guest Patrick Coleman
Then how about Bevenot's 2-part settings of the Latin text? I still use them (now andf then) but when he set the English text the result was not, in my opinion, so successful.

 

Peter

 

There is an elegance to the Latin/Greek that was sometimes (as in DGM) reflected in simple settings. There is an elegance to some of the English renderings that is also sometimes reflected in simple settings. I don't know of any settings that were adapted that really worked, just as I don't know of any settings of the NLC translations of the Roman Missal that really worked when altered to fit the ICEL texts. I often heard grumblings about the nature of the texts, but this isn't always the case - it's just that the conception of the melody has changed.

 

Take the Gregory Murray Kyrie for example. The original was super-simple, yet somehow elegant (obviously not in the same street as a full choral setting, but still pleasing to the ear). The current is just a trite melody and helps neither the words nor the penitential devotion.

 

I am writing about this at some length to try and divert myself from expressing an angry view on the plans referred to in the Frizinghall thread. :wacko:

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I began work with a choir on the Bob Chilcott Jazz Mass last night. Say what you want about the style, I believe it is extremely effective and appropriate for liturgical use, albeit occasionally.

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I began work with a choir on the Bob Chilcott Jazz Mass last night. Say what you want about the style, I believe it is extremely effective and appropriate for liturgical use, albeit occasionally.

 

 

He has written some pleasent music - and, incidentally, is admired by Rutter!

 

Hear and see examples of his work here:

 

http://www.oup.co.uk/music/choral/bobchilcott/

 

The Twelve Days of Christmas is huge fun! Just got time to learn it!

 

Peter

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A thorne in your side, perhaps?

We must be unique in our area, singing a fullly choral setting of the Eucharist each week except one (when the family service does not involve the choir!). We currently number 23 accompanied settings and 6 unaccompanied settings ranging from Palestrina to John Sanders (Mass of the Creator).

 

The reason for this is quite simple, we have not had an incumbent who has interfered with the choice of music - apart from the hymns, and, quite frankly, I will gladly play a few Kendrick gems (just occasionally!) in exchange for allowing the choir its three or four full choral eucharists and two fully choral evensongs each month. That way we can try to keep alive some of the gems mentioned earlier - Ireland in C, Bairstow in E flat (with its 7/4 Benedictus!) the Darkes, the Stanfords and Vierne Messe Solennelle, Mozart Coronation Mass etc. for "big" occasions.

 

I know just how spiritually unrewarding the constant repetition of the awful "Addington Service " and other similar pieces can be, and after 15 years in my present post would not consider going back to it - even for a brand new 4 manual Klais!!

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Try the St Anne's Mass by James Macmillan. Works as a unison only mass. I used to use it for Sunday evening mass without choir. It can be done either responsorially or straight.

 

Good enough for Westminster Cathedral's Saturday vigil mass, with 800 people and no cantor.

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Guest Barry Williams

It has always been a disappointment to me that many cathedral organists use Stanford's settings for Evening Prayer but prefer 'the classical repertoire' for Holy Communion. For example, the magnificence of Stanford's A major Gloria, opening like a sun burst at the end of Holy Communion, is surely one of the most uplifting Anglican musical things ever. He wrote it several years after the Magnificant and Nunc, Dimittis and it has all the hall marks of his mature style. The Victorians and Edwardians seem not to be suited to the current taste for Holy Communion music. This is a pity, for there is much fine music of this era that is unjustly neglected in favour of 'classical' pieces or modern music, the latter albeit of a serious and worthwhile nature.

 

How loyal and hard working organists can cope with playing, week after week, some of the turgid 'Series III'/RiteA/Common Worship settings, with a competent choir reduced to singing a simple unison line I do not know. There is no reason at all why there cannot be a lively partnership of congregational involvement with an adequate part for the choir. Is this part of the reason that some places have difficulty maintaining choirs?

 

Barry Williams

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the magnificence of Stanford's A major Gloria, opening like a sun burst at the end of Holy Communion, is surely one of the most uplifting Anglican musical things ever.

I imagine it might be more difficult to find a church singing the Gloria at the end of the service than one singing Stanford in A.

 

I have to confess, though, that I do not mourn the passing of the BCP Communion Service one little bit. When I got married we had a nuptial mass and I asked specifically for the BCP order - because I thought I believed in tradition. A grave mistake. That occasion brought home to me just what a dreary piece of liturgy it is. Protestantism at its worst. Series 2 was far superior, looking back as it did to 1549 and even beyond. But then, I always did have half a foot in the Romish camp - until they dumbed down like everyone else.

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Hi,

Last Thursday we did the Walton Missa Brevis which is one of my favourites, Friday we did the Faure Requiem mass, on Sunday we did the Palestrina Missa Brevis and this Thursday is Croce Missa Primi Sexti Toni, then Howells Coll Reg on Sunday next I think. A good variety in my opinion.

 

Andy

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Guest Barry Williams
I imagine it might be more difficult to find a church singing the Gloria at the end of the service than one singing Stanford in A.

 

I have to confess that I do not mourn the passing of the BCP Communion Service one little bit. When I got married we had a nuptial mass and I asked specifically for the BCP order - because I thought I believed in tradition. A grave mistake. That occasion brought home to me just what a dreary piece of liturgy it is. Protestantism at its worst. Series 2 was far superior, looking back as it did to 1549 and even beyond. But then, I always did have half a foot in the Romish camp - until they dumbed down like everyone else.

 

Any form of dumbing down is bad and so many do these days. Indeed, as can be seen on this board, it is exceptional when churches do not 'dumb down'. Even when good settings of the Holy Communion words are suggested, many of the clergy simply do not want anything beyond ditty music. The so-called 'Peruvian Gloria' (which came from North America, not Peru) is one of my pet hates. Some of the 'home-made' settings are equally dire.

 

Finding BCP sung Holy Communion (sometimes even with Stanford in A) and a professional choir is not difficult in London. One of the interesting aspects of the London churches is the number of very able and well qualified organists and choirmasters to be seen in the pews, clearly preferring to listen than render music themselves. Has the current dumbing down fashion contributed to this?

 

For those that like traditional liturgy but prefer a more romish format, there used to be Series I in its various incarnations, a sort of 1928 Prayer Book, though it had the Gloria in the Biblical position rather than at the beginning. That service passed into the watered down Rite B and now even that is much less common. I recall a couple of composers writing specifically for the Rite B service, including an anonymous pseudo-plainsong setting at the back of the New English Hymnal. Does anyone know the composer of that one please?

 

Barry Williams

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Hi,

Last Thursday we did the Walton Missa Brevis which is one of my favourites, Friday we did the Faure Requiem mass, on Sunday we did the Palestrina Missa Brevis and this Thursday is Croce Missa Primi Sexti Toni, then Howells Coll Reg on Sunday next I think. A good variety in my opinion.

 

Andy

Lucky you. Last Sunday I did two lots of Murray.....! Anyone know the 'phone number for the Samaritans? :angry:

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I recall a couple of composers writing specifically for the Rite B service, including an anonymous pseudo-plainsong setting at the back of the New English Hymnal. Does anyone know the composer of that one please?

 

Barry Williams

 

The Rite B setting at NEH 542 is by Merbecke, while the Rite A setting entitled A New English Folk Mass (NEH 541) is, so I was told, by Arthur Hutchings.

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Guest Barry Williams
The Rite B setting at NEH 542 is by Merbecke, while the Rite A setting entitled A New English Folk Mass (NEH 541) is, so I was told, by Arthur Hutchings.

 

Thank you for that. I had forgotten that the pseudo-plainsong setting was Rite A. I heard that the composer specifically put the music into the public domain but I may be wrong on that.

 

Barry Williams

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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

 

Indeed - we do this one occasionally - at Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, for example.

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Then how about Bevenot's 2-part settings of the Latin text? I still use them (now andf then) but when he set the English text the result was not, in my opinion, so successful.

 

Peter

 

The Bevenot settings (Masses in Mi, Re and Sol) were what I started with in 1970 – I’m tempted to dig them out again.

 

We’re a humble ‘all welcome’ RC parish choir, and Bevenot led us to John Turner’s Masses (John the Baptist, St. Mary Magdalen and Good Shepherd), and onwards (and upwards, some might say!) to Charles Kitson – his Masses in D and C minor are largely unheard today, and, in my opinion, worthy of a wider hearing. Apart from the Bevenot Masses, all these remain in the current repertoire. Current favourites include the Trotman St. Luke Mass, Lloyd-Webber’s Prince of Peace, and Nicholas Wilton’s recently published Missa Brevis. On the ‘old school’ front, the Lotti Simple Mass remains a delight, as does Hasler’s Dixit Maria.

 

We recently introduced the Dom. Gregory Murray Mass, at the request of the Parish Priest to do something in English (please!!) and it works far better than anything else I have come across of its kind, though Jack Putterill’s Thaxted Mass might be a worthy contender.

 

All that said, the plainsong Missa de Angelis, with a large choir leading, and a large congregation willingly participating, takes some beating, especially with the incense billowing from the sanctuary!

 

Humble stuff among most of you, I know, but another view-point from lower down the ladder, perhaps.

 

Tony Price

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Slightly off topic sorry, but, what do people think to Dom Gregory Murray's organ music, I still occasionally dig out some of the short interludes when I cant be bothered to improvise and I think that they are not too bad. Has anyone come accross any other good stuff?

 

Andy

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Slightly off topic sorry, but, what do people think to Dom Gregory Murray's organ music, I still occasionally dig out some of the short interludes when I cant be bothered to improvise and I think that they are not too bad. Has anyone come accross any other good stuff?

 

Andy

 

 

I play his arangement of Delius' Two Aquerelles. Easy on the ear stuff, certainly, but ideal light relief in a recital or something. (Oops I should have included this in the transcriptions thread!)

Peter

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