Thursday, January 27, 2011

Chant for Matins

A friend recently asked "Where can the chant for Matins be found," as he was unable to find everything he needed in the Liber Usualis. I wrote up a someone extensive answer and thought it would be useful to post here for anyone else searching around the internet for the answer to similar questions:

The Liber Usualis doesn't contain everything. The full chants for the Office are contained in the Antiphonale Romanum (for the day hours) and the Nocturnale Romanum (for Matins). Actually the full titles for the Solesmes era editions are, I believe, "Antiphonale Sacrosantae Romanae Ecclesiae Pro Diurnis/Nocturnis Horis."

At no point after Tra le sollecitudini did Solesmes ever actually get around to publishing a complete Nocturnale compiling their full restoration for Matins, not for the Roman/Diocesan Office at least (as opposed to the Monastic). And after 1970 it was, of course, considered superfluous to do so.

That a restored Nocturnale for the Old Rite exists at all (Deo gratias!) is thanks to the work of one dedicated chant scholar named Peter Sandhofe who typeset an edition published in 2002 before dying at a young age. The Nocturnale is available for sale here.

This is actually the one post-Pius-X chant edition for the Old Rite that I don't have yet (I have a 1949 Antiphonale, which is quite rare; the edition you usually see is 1912), besides the Passion chant books (I am always conflicted about whether to buy the pre- or post-Holy-Week-reform editions), though I saw a copy of the Nocturnale once at a traditional Religious house.

Now, in terms of pre-Solesmes-restoration chant (you can read up on the story of chant editions since Trent here), the Roman Antiphonarium was formerly divided into three separate books that are very hard to obtain in their most recent editions (by Ratisbon in the late 1870's and early 1880's). I mention these only because I have suggested before that, though I vastly prefer the "medieval" restoration of Solesmes, they are rather harder to sing, and these "Medici" versions could perhaps be used as a traditional "Simplex" repertoire for parish churches (rather than versions entirely new to the Roman liturgy).

These books are also the only place to find any official music whatsoever, albeit unrestored by Solesmes, for the Antiphons of the Office as they existed prior to Pius X's edition of the Breviary (see #6 here; besides just rearranging the psalter, for better or worse, as most people know about, the Antiphonary of the Roman Office was altered beyond recognition by the Divino Afflatu reforms, something rarely mentioned when that reform is discussed...)

In this Ratisbon edition, one volume contains the day hours, the other two contain Matins. I found two of the volumes through the interlibrarly WorldCat, but I think they were non-circulating. The day hours are here, published 1879. The volume for Matins of the Proper and Commons of Saints is here, published 1884. The other tome (Matins for the Proper of Seasons) was very hard to find, was not even found in any of the WorldCat libraries. However, I do know that the Latimer Library of the college run by St Vincent's Archabbey in Latrobe, Pennsylvania has a copy (though not of the other two) in their library (which I have been privileged to visit once), found here.

MusicaSacra has the pre-Solesmes Graduale and many other good chant editions (such as books with the verses for the Offertory, Introit, and Communion), including most of the volumes corresponding to the traditional liturgy from the 20th-century. But it does not have the Ratisbon/pre-Solesmes Antiphonary yet in any of the three tomes. So I think it would be worth getting those scanned and put online if someone could. (As for the 2002 "new Old Nocturnale"...I think there are copyright issues given that it was published so recently, but it would be worth owning, I think.)

2 comments:

Rubricarius said...

The Nocturnale by Peter Holger Sandhoffe is worth getting.

I have a volume of Solesmes Mattins for great feasts but would certainly like to see the Ratisbon edition you mention.

Mark of the Vineyard said...

Chant café has the Passion chant books for free, in pdf.