Jump to content
Mander Organ Builders Forum

Mass of St Thomas


handsoff
 Share

Recommended Posts

Not organ music but of interest to me.

 

I did a spot of deputising this morning and in addition to the 5 hymns that I was expecting to play there was also the Mass of St Thomas by David Thorne. One of the choir said at 09.05, with an 09.15 start, "Oh and here's the mass setting, we do the Gloria, Sanctus and Benedictus and the Agnus Dei."

 

OK, no problem sight reading it, the choir obviously knew it inside out and backwards and I found it was quite enjoyable to play on the unusually bright 9 stop 2m +p Hewins organ.

 

The questions; is it a well-known setting and is it performed much? I've never met it before...

 

Thank you.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have used it for about 19 years and I quite like it. All the choir descant bits get put in etc. and I tend to ad lib somewhat with what is actually printed in the organ part as the mood takes.

 

A

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks AJJ. I brought a copy home ready for next time and I can see what you mean about there being some scope for enjoying oneself in the organ part!

 

I'll do a choir practice with them when I'm next asked to play just to make sure that I don't throw them off the scent too much.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We use it, especially the Gloria. When we do it without the choir I tend to put it down a tone. It seems to be a very C of E via media; generally musical competent and interesting, not too "churchy" and nothing to frighten the horses.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It just shows how long I've been out of the game!

 

It's a lot better than the generally used settings from my previous life in church music - Merbecke et al and is pleasant for the organist, even on first sight.

 

Thank you for the replies.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yep, I think we've probably covered this before somewhere on here, but I think its a very effective setting and I've yet to come across a better one (all things considered) for the complete modern translation. It sounds considerably less interesting without the choir descants, but thats probably because I knew it with them first! The 'Agnus Dei' is the most fun to play - I use three different solo colours for each 'echo' line in the organ part depending on what takes my fancy (usually the Clarinet last time, often a Cornet or Cromorne in there somewhere), and on the third run when the choir sing the descant (most effective) I use a mini full swell with 32' underneath.

 

We do it for Festivals and the seasons that follow, and sing the three bits you had this morning along with the 'Christ has died' acclamation and usually the Great Amen (occasionally 'Blessing and honour', but the former is a better setting and our vicar seems to prefer Prayer B which ends with the Amen).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I didn't have a lot of time to sort out registrations so just had to follow the score markings for volume. The nicest stop on the organ is a 4' flute on the pedal and I used this to solo the top line at the end of the Agnus Dei, adding the pedal bourdon 2 beats into the last chord. That seemed to work nicely.

 

When next I play at this church I'll give myself some time to work out the sounds properly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is used ad nauseum in Chichester diocese and has been almost since it first appeared. The problem is that, like other good settings - and the Thorne is a very good setting for congregational singing - it gets tedious if you have that and nothing else. I think he originally wrote it for Portsmouth cathedral (hence "St Thomas") where he was sub organist.

 

Malcolm

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is used ad nauseum in Chichester diocese and has been almost since it first appeared. The problem is that, like other good settings - and the Thorne is a very good setting for congregational singing - it gets tedious if you have that and nothing else. I think he originally wrote it for Portsmouth cathedral (hence "St Thomas") where he was sub organist.

 

Malcolm

 

We used it at the Minster for several weeks last summer - the auxiliary choir sings for the Mass when the Minster Choir is on holiday. I had to play for one or two of them. Whilst it is true that it is appropriate for a congregational type of Mass, I found it a little repetitive - although not to the extent of anything by Karl Jenkins....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

We use it (I inherited it), nowadays as one of a repertoire of settings.

 

The congregation like it a lot, probably because it's the one they know best. I tend to put it on in Trinity, since a choir depleted through holidays (holidays? what are those?) can make a good job of it. There is a lot of repetition, but that helps the congregation immensely.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...