Friday, May 11, 2007

Two Glorias

Continuing with the effort to draw attention to Mass settings that are in English, plainsong, and hold up for long-term use, I offer now two Glorias based on Psalm tones. They can be learned very quickly by congregations, and require no accompaniment. If you heard them in any parish in the English-speaking world, they would not somehow remind you of themes that live in the secular world but rather are compatible with true liturgical sensibilities. They sound like "church." Any parish can use these.

The first is set by Kurt Poterack. It uses the most minimal melodic motion possible but that which is the there is quit penetrating. It has a certain dignity to it that most English Glorias currently in print lack. I don't offer this as an ideal, though it is very good, but rather as a welcome relief from what most Catholics in this country endure week to week. Here is a downloadable pdf.

The second one is slightly more elaborate, based more strictly on the Psalm tone but equally dignified. It is put together by Richard Rice. If you sang this one for a good part of the year, it would hold up in every way. Again, it calls for no accompaniment. Here is a downloadable pdf.

Again, I offer these not as somehow the height and the ideal; the ideal is, in fact, Latin, and it is embodied in the Kyriale or the great polyphonic works. Rather, my purpose here is to show that any parish can have solemn, authentic liturgical music that is easy and accessible to everyone. And any parish can start this process this weekend.

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