Friday, March 21, 2014

Montage # 148 – Gloria!

As of  April 18, 2014, this montage will no longer be available on Pod-O-Matic. It can be heard or downloaded from the Internet Archive at the following address: 


This week’s post takes its lead from a very early montage on our ongoing series. At that time, I assembled a number of renditions of Agnus Dei, the recitative that usually ends the Catholic Ordinary of the Mass.

The Gloria (Glory to God in the Highest, and Peace to His people on Earth…) is one of the standard sections of the Ordinary of the Mass, but being such an important prayer in its own right, it has settings that are both within and outside the standard masses. Indeed, our montage looks at two very specific settings, one by Francis Poulenc, and the other by Antonio Vivaldi.

In a separate post, I discussed Francis Poulenc as a “Born Again Catholic”, and his pilgrimages to the shrine of the Black Virgin of Rocamadour. A couple of weeks ago, we sampled some sacred a capella choral music by Poulenc, and the Gloria is definitely of the same ilk. The Gloria and Stabat Mater are two of Poulenc’s sacred choral pieces that have been widely recorded, and it is from a coupling of these works for EMI conducted by Geroges Prêtre that I have pulled today’s performance.

Vivaldi is known to have written at least three settings of the Gloria; only two survive (RV 588 and RV 589) whilst the other (RV 590) is presumably lost. Simply known as the Vivaldi "Gloria" due to its outstanding popularity, RV 589 is the better known setting of the Gloria by the Red Priest. This piece, along with RV 588, was composed at the same time during Vivaldi's employment at the Pieta.

The montage also features a pair of “Mass Glorias” – one from Haydn’s Paukenmesse, the other by the great jazzman Chuck Mangione. Although the latter piece refers to “the Mass of St. Bernard”, there are no traces of a recording of the entire mass. This excerpt is taken from a live performance of Mangione and friends at Toronto’s Massey Hall, backed-up by the Hamilton Philharmonic.

The opening work of the montage isn’t a setting of the traditional Gloria, but rather a musical setting of Gloria, Laus et Honor, a Christian hymn composed by Theodulph of Orléans in 810, and often accompanies the procession on Palm Sunday, so certainly appropriate for the Lenten season.

I think you will love this music too.

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