Written by request for the choral concert given on May 22, 2011 by William Picher and the Basilica Choir with friends. The choral group for the day contained 16 singers, and Bill was looking for a 16-voice piece. I sat with this request for quite a while before finally settling on this text and the general style of the piece. Most of the piece is written for 8-part choir, but the middle section is a 16-part fugue. The recording below was made at the dress rehearsal prior to the concert.
Psalm 96: 1-3
Cantate Domino canticum novum:
Cantate Domino omnis terra.
Cantate Domino, benedicite nomini eius:
Adnuntiate diem de die salutare eius.
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For many years when planning large multilingual diocesan celebrations, I felt Latin would be the best option for the Mass Ordinary. Because these special celebrations often are festive occasions where I had supplemental instrumental resources, using the traditional Latin chants always felt out of place, especially for the Gloria which follows so soon after what typically is a rousing entrance procession. Even though I love chant, the contrast between styles always seemed to make this hymn of praise more of a funeral dirge.
Finally, I took the time to write a more festive accompanied setting of the Latin text for the closing celebration of the Centennial of Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Kissimmee, Florida. While I may eventually do an SATB version and instrumental parts, the piece was first performed by on June 30, 2013 in unison by the combined choirs of Holy Redeemer. There is a congregational-friendly refrain and the verses are marked for women/men/all choral groupings but could just as easily be sung by a cantor alone.
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This recording by the Basilica Choir and William Picher includes my composition Salve Regina. The piece was written specifically for them, and I was delighted that they chose to include it on their recording.
The CD is available for sale for $15 plus shipping and handling. It is also available at iTunes for immediate download here. This is the complete track list:
Haec Dies (William Byrd)
O Bone Jesu (Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina)
Verbum Caro Factus Est (Hans Leo Hassler)
Alma Redemptoris Mater (Palestrina)
Regina Caeli Laetare (Antonio Lotti)
Riu, Riu, Chiu (Anon. Spanish)
Exsultate Deo (Palestrina)
I See His Blood Upon the Rose (Michael Bedford)
At the Cross Her Station Keeping (13th cent., arr. Richard Proulx)
Were You There? (Spiritual, arr. Harry T. Burleigh)
Gabriel’s Message (Basque Carol, arr. Jonathan Rathbone)
One of the difficulties in using a historical musical setting of the Latin Mass in the Novus Ordo is the lack of Memorial Acclamation and Amen. With only two syllables, it’s usually pretty easy to do some text replacement and derive an Amen from material in other movements. It may even be possible to simply use the amen found at the end of the Gloria or Credo as a stand alone Eucharistic acclamation. The Memorial Acclamation, regardless of the text option chosen, proves a much tougher challenge.
For the Choral Mass on February 22, 2013, at the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Queen of the Universe, Dr. William Picher gave me the task of creating something for him to use alongside Palestrina’s Missa Papae Marcelli. While I initially wrote something for the SATTBB voicing that Palestrina uses, I forgot that this was to be a Latin Mass and set the English response “Save Us, Savior of the World.” Mea culpa. As six contrapuntal voices seemed a bit of a stretch for me in the limited time I had to prepare the piece, when I started over again with the equivalent Latin text, I opted for the more traditional (and perhaps more useful) SATB voicing.
I hope to have a recording of live singers performing the piece after February 22. In the meantime, the music notation program Finale has provided this rendering:
Salvator mundi, salva nos, qui per crucem et resurrectionem tuam liberasti nos.
Lord, by your cross and resurrection you have set us free. You are the Savior of the world.
Ave verum corpus,
natum de Maria Virgine,
vere passum, immolatum
in cruce pro homine,
cuius latus perforatum
fluxit aqua et sanguine:
esto nobis praegustatum
in mortis examine.
This setting of the traditional Latin text is for unaccompanied SATB choir with moderate divisi in all four parts. The musical language is modern while still using traditional sonorities. The audio below was generated by the Finale music notation program.
Gaudete in Domino semper:
iterum dico, gaudete.
Rejoice in the Lord always,
and again I say rejoice.
This musical setting of text from the introit for the third Sunday of Advent is written for unaccompanied SATB choir. The lyrics use both Latin and English phrases from the introit. The music alternates between short unison chant sections and longer polyphonic sections based on ideas found in the original Gregorian chant.
Ad te levavi animam meam:
Deus meus in te confido.
To You, I lift up my soul.
I trust in you.
This musical setting of text from the introit for the first Sunday of Advent is written for unaccompanied SATB choir. The lyrics use both Latin and English phrases from the introit. The music alternates between short unison chant sections and longer polyphonic sections based on ideas found in the original Gregorian chant.
Regina caeli laetare, Alleluia,
Quia quem meruisti portare. Alleluia,
Resurrexit sicut dixit, Alleluia.
Ora pro nobis Deum. Alleluia.
Intended for use during the Easter Season, this is the second Marian antiphon I set for SSAATTBB choir. The traditional chant melody is cast in a modern tonal language. A piano reduction of the SSAATTBB piece provided in the score for rehearsals. The audio below was generated by the Finale music notation program.
Ave Regina caelorum,
Ave Domina angelorum,
Salve radix, salve porta,
Ex qua mundo lux est orta.
Gaude Virgo gloriosa,
Super omnes speciosa;
Vale, o valde decora,
Et pro nobis Christum exora.
Intended for use during the Lenten Season, this is the third of the four Marian antiphons I set for SSAATTBB choir. The traditional chant melody is cast in a modern tonal language. A piano reduction of the SSAATTBB piece provided in the score for rehearsals. The audio below was generated by the Finale music notation program.
Alma Redemptoris Mater,
Quae pervia caeli porta manes,
Et stella maris, succurre cadenti,
Surgere qui curat, populo:
Tu quae genuisti, natura mirante,
tuum sanctum Genitorem,
Virgo prius ac posterius,
Gabrielis ab ore, sumens illud Ave,
Intended for use during the season of Advent, this is the fourth Marian antiphon I set for SSAATTBB choir. The traditional chant melody is cast in a modern tonal language. A piano reduction of the SSAATTBB piece provided in the score for rehearsals. The audio below was generated by the Finale music notation program.