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Kyrie Trent Codex 90

Kyrie Trent Codex 90

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Published by Jeff Ostrowski
Kyrie Trent Codex 90
Kyrie Trent Codex 90

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Categories:Topics, Art & Design
Published by: Jeff Ostrowski on Feb 03, 2012
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02/22/2014

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To obtain score & practice videos for this piece:http://www.ccwatershed.org/codex/ 
The
inventory
of
manuscript
sources
listsmore
manuscript
sources
forKyrie.IVthanforany
other.
REPERTORY
Kyrie"CunctipotensGenitor
Deus"
Alternatim
by
William
Mahrt
yrie
~
namedfortheLatintext
to
whichitwasoncesung,"CunctipotensGenitorDeus,Omnicreator,eleison,"
is
one
of
themostwidelydistributedKyriemelodies.
The
inventory
of
manuscriptsources
of
KyriemelodiesbyMargarethaLandwehr-Melnicki
1
listsmoremanuscriptsourcesforthisKyriethanforanyother.
2
It
wasfrequentlyassignedtoMarianfeasts,withthetext"RexvirginwnamatorDeus,"andinitsMarianassignmentserved
as
the
cantus
jirmus
forGuillawnedeMachaut's
Messe
Nostre
Dame.
Machaut'smass
is
thefirstcompletemasscyclebyaknowncomposer(includingKyrie,Gloria,Credo,Sanctus,andAgnusDei
as
acoherentset),
but
itstandsinthecontext
of
awidecultivation
of
polyphonicmusicfortheOrdinary
of
theMass.Duringthefourteenthcenturyandintothebeginning
of
thefifteenthcentury,thismusicconsistedmainly
of
singleindependentmovements,unrelatedtoeach
other
inmelody
or
mode,muchlikethechantsfortheordinary.3
Often
thesepolyphonicmovementswerebaseduponawell-knownchant,such
as
Kyrie
IVOne
suchasettingcomesfromtheTrentCodices,aset
of
sevenmanuscriptscopied
1445-75
containinganenormousrepertory
of
sacredmusic.
4
Igiveitherebecause
of
itspotentialforuseintoday'sliturgy.
It
consists
of
threepolyphonicsections,Kyrie,Christe,Kyrie.
It
is
likelythatthesesettingswereoriginallyperformedjust
as
theirchantmodelswere,
as
anine-foldpolyphonic
William
Mahrt
is
editor
of
Sacred
Music
andpresident
of
theCMAA.mahrt@stanford.edu
1
MargarethaLandwehr-Melnicki,
Das
einstimmige
~ r i e
des
lateinischen
Mittelalters
(MOOchen
:MikrokopieG.m.b.H.,1954)adoctoraldissertationattheUniversity
of
Erlangencataloging
all
theKyriemelodiesintheextensivearchive
of
microfilms
of
chantmanuscriptsassembled
by
BrunoStablein.
2
Seethetable
of
melodiesinmy"GregorianChant
as
aFundamentum
of
WesternMusicalCulture,"
SacredMusic,
102,no.1(Spring1975),19-20;thiswasanaddresstotheSixthInternationalChurchMusicCongressinSalzburg,August1974,andthisdatawasabasisfortheselection
of
melodiesforthe
Iiber
Cantualis
(Sable-sur-Sarthe:AbbayeSaint-PierredeSolesmes,1978),pp.17-54.
3
Thisrepertorycanbefoundthroughouttheseries
PolYPhonic
Music
of
the
Fourteenth
Century,
24vols.(Monaco:Editionsdel'Oiseau-Lyre,1956-1991)..
4
Aselection
of
worksfromthesemanuscriptshasbeenpublishedin
Sechs
[Sieben]
Trienter
Codices:
Geistliche
und
weltliche
Compositionen
des
xv:
Jahrhunderts,
1.-7.
Auswah!,
DenkmalerderTonkunst
in
Osterreich,Bd.
14-15,22,38,53,61,76,
120(Vienna:Artaria,1900-70).
 
To obtain score & practice videos for this piece:http://www.ccwatershed.org/codex/ 
Sacred
MusicVolume
138,
Number
2
Summer
2011
As
is
sooften
the
case
withliturgical
manuscripts,
well-established
conventions
are
not
indicated
in
.
the
manuscript
at
all.
Kyrie,that
is,
thesingleKyriesectionwassungthreetimes,thesingleChriste,threetimes,andthenthesecondKyrie,threetimes.Therearesomesettings,however,thatindicatean
a/ternatim
performance--directalternationbetweenchantandpolyphony:Kyrie(chant),Kyrie(polyphony),Kyrie(chant),Christe(polyphony),Christe,(chant),Christe(polyphony),Kyrie(chant),Kyrie(polyphony),Kyrie(chant).As
is
sooftenthecasewithliturgicalmanuscripts,well-establishedconventionsare
not
indicatedinthemanuscriptat
all;
thusforaKyriesimplycontainingasingleKyrie,asingleChriste,andasingleKyrie,thearrangement
as
anine-foldKyriewouldbelefttothesingers,whoknewwellenoughwhatto
do.
The
presentKyriehassuchanarrangement,oneKyrie,oneChriste,andanotherKyrieinpolyphony.BeingbaseduponthechantmelodyforKyrie
~
thesecondKyriediffersfromthefirst,
as
doesthechant
upon
which
it
isbased.My
own
choirhassungthisKyrieforlongerthanIcanremember,andalternated
it
withthecongregation.
The
congregationoftensingsthenine-foldchantbyitselfand
upon
afewimportantoccasionswe
then
incorporatetherpolyphonicsettinginalternationwiththecongregation.
One
mightthinkthatthecongregationwouldresenthavingpart
of
theirperformancecooptedbythechoir,
but
theoppositeisthecase:thismanner
of
performanceincorporatesthemintoapolyphonicperformance,somethingtheycould
not
achievebythemselves.Theirsingingismostoftenmoreenthusiastic
on
suchanoccasionthanit
is
whentheysingthechantalone.
They
oftencomment
on
this.Thereareseveralwaystoarrangethealternation;amongthem:
(1)
directalternationbeginningandendingwiththechant;
(2)
directalternationbeginningandendingwithpolyphony;
(3)
threefoldalternation,i.e.,cantorssingingthefirstchantversicle,congregationsingingthesecond,andchoirsingingthepolyphonicversicle;
(4)
directalternationbetweenchoirandthreesoloists,usingeither
of
theschemesabove.Ihavegiventhefirstarrangementhere,thoughfromwhatIhavegiven,theotherscouldalsobedone.(Inordertomakethealternation
as
clear
as
possible,Ihavewritten
out
therepeat
of
thepolyphonicChristeverside.)
The
chantbeginswithacharacteristiccontourfora
Kyrie-a
prevalence
of
generallydescendingmotion,appropriateforKyriemelodies,sinceitsuggestsagesture
of
deferenceandhumility.
The
initialmelodybeginsaroundtherecitingtone,
a,s
andafteragentleriseto
c,
beginsasystemticdescenttothefinal,D.
The
Christehasanevenmoreconsistentlydescendingcontour,movingdownwarddirectlyfromtherecitingnote
a.
The
finalKyrie,however,takesasurprisingturn:begin-
S
PitchesareheredesignatedbytheGuidoniansystem,i.e.,uppercasefortheoctave
A-G
completelybelowmiddle
c,
lowercasefortheoctave
a-g
surroundingmiddle
c,
anddoublelowercaseforthefifth
aa-ee,
completelyabovemiddle
c.
 
To obtain score & practice videos for this piece:http://www.ccwatershed.org/codex/ 
Summer2011
Volume
138,
Number2
Sacred
Music
.
Asalways
the
alternation
of
chant
with
polyphony,
the
striking
contrast
between
thetwo
is
an
advantage
to
both.
ning
on
thefInal,
D,
itrisesafIfth,makesanadditionalrise
to
c,
recallingthesimilarriseatthebeginning
of
thefIrstKyrie,and,afterdippingdownto
E,
risesandendsupontherecitingnote
a.
One
mightthinkthis
to
representamorehopeful
turn
afterthedeference
of
thefIrstversicles,butit
is
anunusualturn,sinceitleavesthecadence
on
therecitingnote,
not
thefinal.TheoristshavedesignatedsuchanoteaconfInal,toindicateitsaffInitywiththeactual
fInal.
The
polyphony
is
fortwosopranosandonetenor.Theirrangesarequitemoderate,almostexacdythe.sameasthat
of
the
chant-the
twosopranopartshaveidenticalranges,includingonenotebelowthechantrange;thetenorincludesonenoteabovethechantrange.Thusanysingerwhocanaccomplishtherange
of
thechantcanalsosingthepolyphony.Adistinctivecharacteristic
of
thepolyphony
is
thatthetwosopranovoicescrossfrequendy;thisgivesthetextureaninterestingvariety,becauseevenequalvoicesinvariablydifferslighdyintimbre.
The
chantmelodyisincorporateddirecdyintothepolyphony,
but
withsomevariety.
It
is
carriedbythefIrstsopranointhefirstandlastKyrieversicles,
but
bythetenorintheChriste.
It
is
polyphonyonlyinthemostgeneralsense
of
theword,sincethetextureiscompletelynote-againstnote,accompanyingthechantmelodyexacdy,evenwithoutasuspensionatthecadence.
Still,
thecrossing
of
the
upper
voicesallowstheincorporation
of
somecontrarymotionintothetexture,
e.g.,
inmm.
5-7
of
theChriste,anelement
of
polyphony.
The
theory
of
counterpointinthefifteenthcenturyprescribesbeginningandendingwithperfectintervals,andmovingthroughimperfectintervals;
it
prohibitsparallelperfectintervals,butpermitsparallelimperfectintervals.Fifteenth-century
cOmpOSit10nS,
such
as
theworks
of
Dufay,showmainlyimperfectintervalsbetweentheperfectbeginningandendingnotes
of
aphrase,withplenty
of
parallelsixthsandtenths.Calculatingtheintervalsbetweentheoutermostsoundingvoices
of
thepresentKyrieshowsadifferent
pattern-nearly
equaluse
of
perfect(octavesandtwelfths)andimperfectintervals(tenths,sixths,andthirds),morecharacteristic
of
thefourteenthcenturythanthefifteenth.Thissuggeststhatbythetime
of
thecopying
of
theTrentCodices,thispiecewasquiteold,
or
elseinanotablyarchaicstyle.
The
tempo
of
thepolyphonyshouldbecommensuratewiththat
of
thechant.Aquarternote
of
thepolyphonyshouldberoughlyequaltothesinglenotes
of
thechant.Tuning
is
crucial,especially
of
theperfectintervals,whichdo
not
tolerateinexacttuning.Thesonorityandthetuning
of
thepiecearehelpedbysingingfairlybrightvowells.
It
is
usefultorehearsetwovoicesatatime,thechant-bearingvoicewitheach
of
theothertwovoices.
If
a
good
balancebetweenthevoicesinterms
of
bothvolumeandtuningcanbeachievedforeach
of
thesepairs,thenthesonority
of
thewholepiece
will
beverygood.As
always
inthealternation
of
chantwithpolyphony,thestrikingcontrastbetweenthetwoisanadvantagetoboth;
as
alistenertoldmeaftersuchaperformance(ofsomewhatlatermusic),thechantmakesthepolyphonys·oundsorich,andthepolyphonymakesthechantsoundsopure.
~

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