Paul's Psalm for Papal Visit

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Paul's Psalm for Papal Visit

Post by JW » Tue Sep 21, 2010 3:14 pm

On the Papal Visit thead, Mithras was interested in how well Paul's psalm would work in parishes. We used the psalm in our parish on the day and I believe it worked very well (our PP went out of his way to thank the musicians for our contribution to the Mass). We are unable to sing in SATB so could not give the response it's full pomp and the soprano descant on the final response was taken by a flautist. The response is quite congregation-friendly - they will sing it and that is always important. The speed indicated (crotchet = 72) will work well in small to medium sized church acoustics, though our cantor tended to speed up the verses.

From our experience there are a couple of things to be aware of:

1) Psalm settings usually flow directly from verse to response. Paul's psalm has a brief organ fanfare before each response. This caught the priest and congregation out on the 1st verse but they cottoned on for subsequent verses.

2) Our cantor (who's a music graduate with Voice as 1st Instrument) found the setting of 'Who is like the Lord our God' in the second verse quite tricky and I had to include the tune for that phrase in the accompaniment for her - she found trouble pitching the G.

On the whole, this is a majestic setting of Psalm 112 and it was enjoyable to use. It will, I think, work very well for any parish. My thanks to Paul for allowing us to use it.

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Parish / Diocese: Our Lady's, Lillington

Re: Paul's Psalm for Papal Visit

Post by mcb » Tue Sep 21, 2010 10:03 pm

We used it too, and I found it worked thoroughly well. Since we were indoors and with a smaller congregation than just the 50,000, I took it a bit faster than the metronome mark. I left out the final descant too - again right for the big occasion in Birmingham but perhaps less so for a normal parish Sunday Mass, which is what we have (with a few frills) at the cathedral.

We had no problems with the organ interlude causing people to jump the gun on the refrain - the choir are close to the people, who take their cue fairly well from my hand signals. In fact, the one other editorial change I made to the music was to add the interlude before the repeat of the first refrain, so that it was the same every time it came around.

Overall a definite success! Nice one, Paul.

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