March 20, 2008

Make it up as you go along, lauda, laude

Our Easter anthem this year is a venerable old barn-burner, the "Gloria" from "Mozart's Twelfth Mass." It's not by Mozart at all—it was written by a guy named Wenzel Müller—but under Mozart's name it was a big church choir hit in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Loud, bright, common-time C-major: what's not to like? Here's a typical passage towards the end:

Domine Deus, Agnus Dei from Müller Gloria
The edition in our choral library—which appears to date from just after the Crucifixion—has a typo in this bit. The alto line reads:

Alto typo 7/8 measure
Here's how slap-happy church music directors tend to get during the onslaught of Holy Week: I was curious enough to take time out of rehearsal to see what this passage would sound like if all the parts were rewritten in 7/8:

Müller Gloria in 7/8
Instant Chichester Psalms! Next week's episode: how to make Beach Boys background vocals by swapping the bass and alto parts of Protestant hymns.


Hugh said...

Thank you, Matthew, for imparting a happy glow to my day.

Rebecca said...

Matthew, I think that your choir needs to perform it that way next year.