Sunday, October 23, 2005

Why Gregorian Chant SHOULD Be Sung--II

The proper Offertory for the 33rd Sunday of the (NO) year and for today in the Tridentine Rite is De Profundis (Out of the Depths.)

The setting is haunting--the incipit is in a minor key; the first phrase is really a 'moan,' similar to the "groan" of the orchestra in the very first few notes of Britten's War Requiem. The clamavi is 'double-topped,' with a halting rhythm and the ending of the second phrase, Domine, is barely higher than the first note.

We repeat Domine, now more insistent, followed by exaudi, even higher-pitched and again, insistent--then orationem meam--and meam lasts almost forever, again with the halting rhythm. Our prayer "from the depths" SHOULD last a long time--"pray always."

The first line repeats. Rare in Chant; the last word is Domine; fitting, eh?

1 comment:

romy said...

here's a question for you, dad29 - when the well-meaning, but not very well trained, gregorian schola sings our local tridentine mass here in boston (about once a month), they always add a psalmody to the offertory. i have never heard that done in a monastery - or, indeed, seen any justification for it in the various books on chant - and am wondering if and how to break the unorthodoxy of this chant decision to them. or am i wrong?

your mentioning the rare repeated last offertory line made me think of this.