Thursday, May 07, 2020

A New Arrangement of a Renaissance Regina Caeli

Our thanks to composer Mark Emerson Donnelly, who is also the director of music at Holy Family, the FSSP parish in Vancouver, British Columbia, for sending us this information about his arrangement of a polyphonic version of the Regina Caeli, originally by the Italian composer Francesco Soriano (1549-1621).

“Our choir, Chorus Faustinae, already had two polyphonic versions of Regina Caeli in our repertoire, one by Lodovico da Viadana (c.1560-1627) and one by Gregor Aichinger (c.1565-1628). However, I was always intrigued by the setting of their contemporary, Francesco Soriano. The problem I had with it is that it seems quite truncated, more like a fragment rather than a complete piece. Also, it was a shame the rather catchy opening seven measures are not repeated.

So I decided to make the words “Regina caeli, laetare, Alleluia” a refrain (similar to what Aichinger does in his setting), and add some measures to the whole to fill it out. I hope you like the result.

If you’re keeping score (pun intended), I composed measures 8-9 (repeated in meas. 23-24, 41-42 & in augmentation 58-61) and measures 48-51.

Score: Regina Caeli (Soriano, arr-MED)

The score is margin-optimized for reading on a tablet or phone. It can still be printed in Adobe Reader, using the “actual size” setting. NOTE: We are still tinkering with our newly installed mics and sound board at Holy Family. Please excuse the hiccups! God bless, and happy singing!”

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