Posts tagged ‘Paris Schola Cantorum’

December 23, 2012

2012-12-23 Notes from the Bench

A commentary on this week’s music by Dr. James Gerber, Music Associate

“Missa in simplicitate” by Jean Langlais (1907-1991)

On the fourth Sunday of each month, we celebrate a formal Eucharist during our 11:00 am service that incorporates more ritual elements and includes a Choral Mass setting sung by our Chamber Choir.  The “Ordinary Mass,” the unchanging texts that are repeated each Sunday, have been set to music throughout the history of the Christian tradition, with settings ranging in scope from simple plainsong melodies to massive and complex choral works accompanied with orchestra.  The Ordinary includes the “Kyrie, eleison” (Lord, have mercy),  “Gloria” (Glory to God), “Credo” (The Creed), “Sanctus et Benedictus” (Holy, Holy and Blessed is He) and “Agnus Dei” (Lamb of God).

This Sunday, the Chamber Choir will sing Missa in simplicitate by Jean Langlais (1907-1991) as our Mass setting. Langlais composed this Mass setting for solo voice or unison choir accompanied by organ or harmonium, a single manual reed organ usually constructed without pedals.  This work is only “simple” in regard to the musical resources required for its performance.  It is a gentle work with an appealing vocal line, sections of which are reminiscent of plainsong, that is accompanied by colorful harmonies and rich sonorities. 

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