Suggestions for a Choral Mass Setting

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contrabordun
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Suggestions for a Choral Mass Setting

Post by contrabordun » Sun Jun 30, 2013 10:33 pm

One possible project I have in mind is to teach the choir a fully choral mass setting (at present we don't sing or know any). Leaving aside (please) discussion about whether this is or is not a desirable thing to do, I'm looking for suggestions for a general-purpose mass setting for a reasonably secure 4-part setup in which most of the singers are not music readers. As a starting point, I think the Byrd 4-part is beyond us at present and while I'm anticipating going with something like Mozart or Haydn etc, I'm entirely open as to style and period, so contemporary is also a possibility.
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Ian Coleman
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Re: Suggestions for a Choral Mass Setting

Post by Ian Coleman » Mon Jul 01, 2013 8:37 am

If your choir are really non music-readers, then going for a 4-part mass-setting may not be the way forward. Certainly anything polyphonic would probably need more effort than could be justified. I'd suggest the Proulx version of the Schubert 'Deutsche Mess', which you can find on the Decani website:
http://www.decanimusic.co.uk/acatalog/c ... HER_1.html
Good luck!
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dmu3tem
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Re: Suggestions for a Choral Mass Setting

Post by dmu3tem » Mon Jul 01, 2013 10:40 am

Could you be a bit more specific about the sort of thing you want?

From your reference to Byrd am I right in thinking you want an a capella setting with no instrumental backing etc? Are you necessarily wedded just to an SATB lineup?

Are you looking at just Latin settings, or English ones? If the latter are there any issues about which English text setting you hope to use? (are you wanting the present revised Ordinary setting, or the ICEL 1973 text, or something else)?

Do you intend the congregation to sing along with your choir, or am I right in surmising you want something for choir only?

Notice how if you go for a non-congregational setting and do not use the current English or an approved Latin text you may run foul of what the ecclesiastical authorities have prescribed. Notice that in theory even with the current English text your setting has to have been approved by the Bishops Conference vetting committee (unless it is a setting composed purely for your own parish). This seems strange given the apparent latitude allowed to cathedrals who regularly sing non-congregational Latin settings. I thought part of the 'reform' was to ensure congregations took part at specified points (notably the Holy Holy, Memorial Acclamations, 'Great Amen').
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Re: Suggestions for a Choral Mass Setting

Post by Chris » Mon Jul 01, 2013 10:49 am

Mozart C major Missa Brevis might fit the bill http://www1.cpdl.org/wiki/images/sheet/moz-259o.pdf

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Nick Baty
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Re: Suggestions for a Choral Mass Setting

Post by Nick Baty » Mon Jul 01, 2013 1:01 pm

contrabordun wrote:Leaving aside (please) discussion about whether this is or is not a desirable thing to do...
But can you leave this aside? You can't exclude the assembly from that which is rightly theirs. So you're really just looking for a Gloria and/or Agnus. But how will your assembly feel? Are they happy to stand for however long it takes you to sing a Gloria?
dmu3tem wrote:This seems strange given the apparent latitude allowed to cathedrals who regularly sing non-congregational Latin settings.
Yes, some cathedrals do this. But there are plenty more who do things properly including Salford, Brentwood, Hallam and Clifton.

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contrabordun
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Re: Suggestions for a Choral Mass Setting

Post by contrabordun » Mon Jul 01, 2013 1:58 pm

Doesn't have to be a capella, and I'm easy with either Latin or ICEL 2010. I wasn't thinking specifically in terms of something that had a congregational line. The choir is pretty secure with 4 part homophonic writing, but they struggle with polyphony due to the need to keep track during rests and long notes. Thanks for the Mozart suggestion Chris - that looks interesting.

Nick - you're making assumptions about the circumstances under which the results of any such project might get sung in public :D To avoid seeming mysterious, the reason I don't want to discuss it is that I don't have anything concrete: I have two or three half ideas that might or might not amount to something, and whilst at a quick count I know precisely 7 mass settings, (including the Mozart, Fauré and Durufflé Requiems), none of them are within the scope of this choir so I'm just looking for suggestions for possible repertoire. (This is not intended for parish mass on a Sunday morning!)
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mcb
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Re: Suggestions for a Choral Mass Setting

Post by mcb » Mon Jul 01, 2013 2:57 pm

Try one of the Missa Brevis-es by Antonio Lotti. I know of two, one in F/E♭(the lower key version is an easier sing) the other in Dm. Both are on CPDL. A mixture of polyphony and homophony, but the polyphonic bits are fairly straightforwardly imitative, if memory serves.

If you want to keep in the option of congregational participation in the longer term, you could do worse than Bob Hurd's Missa Ubi Caritas (OCP). The choral arrangement by Craig Kingsbury is very lovely, and it's mainly based on the Ubi Caritas chant melody, so easy enough for the people to pick up and join in with. We've had this one in our repertoire a long time. All homophony, btw.

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Nick Baty
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Re: Suggestions for a Choral Mass Setting

Post by Nick Baty » Mon Jul 01, 2013 7:17 pm

contrabordun wrote:Nick - you're making assumptions...
Apologies – I thought you were considering it for liturgical use. I presume it's for some sort of concert. Comments withdrawn!

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Re: Suggestions for a Choral Mass Setting

Post by JW » Tue Jul 02, 2013 4:03 pm

Haven't seen the score for Karl Jenkins' Armed Man, a Mass for Peace, but it sounds as if it could be easy enough for the resources you're considering. You could just take the liturgical sections from it if you're considering a concert performance. I've heard it done effectively with just an organ accompaniment, so you don't need the orchestra. Of course, there are Copyright & Performing Rights Society implications.
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Re: Suggestions for a Choral Mass Setting

Post by JW » Wed Jul 03, 2013 3:01 pm

...Then there's Arvo Part's Berliner Mass, simple and greatly influenced by Gregorian chant and suitable for Concert, Tridentine or Novus Ordo liturgies.

Here's the Credo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-QtIQB2XhD0
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dmu3tem
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Re: Suggestions for a Choral Mass Setting

Post by dmu3tem » Fri Jul 05, 2013 12:00 pm

Sorry. I meant to send a personal message and I found I could not fully cross it off having accidentally put it out on the public forum.
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Southern Comfort
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Re: Suggestions for a Choral Mass Setting

Post by Southern Comfort » Fri Jul 05, 2013 2:26 pm

Hasslers' "Dixit Maria" Mass is very tuneful and gratifying to sing. If this was for a Christmastide concert, then George Malcolm's Missa ad Praesepe would be another good choice.

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