Saturday, May 17, 2008

Frustrated growl ...

I'm to play the 5.30 pm Saturday Vigil Mass at Immaculate Conception this afternoon. The Gloria I was asked to play was Haas' setting (Mass of Light). I will admit - I have never been a huge fan of this setting, and I only heard it executed well once. This was at St. Charles parish in San Diego (yes, my home parish) when Peter Luciano was the Director of Music. At the time, he was pursuing a Master's degree in Music at San Diego State. He's a brilliant pianist and conductor, and his organ playing was pretty good as well. He's got a decidedly jazzy style, and he was the only one I know of who can pull off that Gloria and make it sound like music.

In my hands, it sounds horrific, and nothing like the Hymn of Praise it was meant to be. Luckily, I was given an option, and I will just have to tell the choristers I encounter this afternoon that the Gloria of the Day will be the Andrews setting. It's much more manageable with its ... I believe 3 pages, as opposed to the ridiculous Mass of Light setting, that amounts to 12 pages!!!!! (At least, that's how it's laid out in Gather Comprehensive (1994).)

While we're at it - what is with this fascination with the refrain-type Glorias? I will admit - I am so not a fan of those things. I find it more disrupting than anything else. Give me a good, solid Gloria any time. There are several wonderful settings of it in the Hymnal 1982 ... Willan's Missa de Sancta Maria Magdalena and Mathias' (S-202 and S-278, respectively) are two that come to mind immediately.

The one setting that I found I was able to pick up readily as a person in the pew (PIP) was the Somerville setting (New Good Shepherd Mass). It's funny - my Filipino friends in Toronto refer to the Somerville setting of the Mass as "The Toronto Mass," whilst Haugen's Mass of Creation is "The American Mass."

Sigh. I'm babbling on. I really should get to practising. This will be a busy weekend, and I still have to get packing for my trip ... plus get my wedding folder organised. It will be an adventurous week coming up.

4 comments:

John C. Fowler said...

Who's getting married? Did they pick any "interesting" songs for you to play, or just the traditional stuff?

Lyn F. said...

A former lab mate of mine. She asked me to play the piano at her wedding. I'll be leaving for Honolulu first thing Monday morning in preparation for that.

She chose some hymns she wanted, but left it to me to choose the instrumental music, saying she trusted my judgement.

I'll post the Order of Worship as soon as it is finalised. Last I heard, the priest is reviewing things over.

Brian Michael Page said...

I wouldn't touch "Mass of Light" with a 39-1/2 foot pole.

"Glory to God in the highest, Sing glory to God..."

I don't blame you for sticking with the Andrews. At least that one's a legit text.

BMP

stpetric said...

"While we're at it - what is with this fascination with the refrain-type Glorias? ... Give me a good, solid Gloria any time."

Amen, to that! I don't get the fascination with them, either. And another church music practice I don't is multiple "amens" at the end of the eucharistic prayer. What's the point? Have the people somehow assented more vigorously or something?