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?

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