Two Latin Plainchant Tunes
Adoro Te Devote  ◊  Intermède en Canon & Méditation Canonique
Divinum Mysterium  ◊ 
Préambule  & Prélude Canonique

Complimentary Score available in December 2022


Intermède en canon on Adoro Te Devote exploits the measured qualities of the plainchant tune with a canonic presentation of the entire melody between two voices, the upper voice in actual note values and the lower one in augmentation (i.e., in note values that are moving at half the speed of those in the upper voice). Following a rhapsodically developmental and modulatory episode, the plainchant reappears in the tenor, accompanied in treble registers by rocking triads and pedal-points. After a brief retransition to the original key, a variant of the opening canonic treatment returns, this time between the left hand and pedal, with the addition of a sonorous chordal accompaniment in the right hand. For the last phrase, the texture thins out, leading to a tranquil ending.

Méditation canonique
on Adoro Te Devote sets a modern plainchant melody that was first published in the Paris Processionale of 1697. It is one of a later genre of chants from France characterized by a measured sense of rhythm, even though unmetered; it also makes use of the Ionian mode, equivalent of a modern major scale, instead of one of the traditional church modes. Méditation exaggerates the metric qualities of the tune with its canonic imitation of chant phrases over a steady syncopated  two-voice pedal  line. After  a brief and contrasting episodic interpolation, the hymn tune returns to its original key for a complete solo statement alternated between soprano and tenor voices.

Préambule on Divinum Mysterium presents the  planchant tune of a Sanctus Trope dating from the 11th century that appeared in Piae Cantione Ecclesiasticae et Scholasticae, published in 1582 by Theodoricis Petri of Finland. In the middle of the 19th century, the tune was adapted by Thomas Helmore as a setting of the now familiar text, “Of the Father’s love begotten.” Préambule presents one complete statement of the melody, phrase by phrase. Starting in the soprano, the tune is harmonized in the left hand over an extended tonic pedalpoint; at midpoint, the melody migrates to the tenor voice for two phrases, returning to the soprano for an appearance of the final hymn phrase and its brief cadential extension. 

canonique on Divinum Mysterium provides a quasi-canonic treatment of the plainchant melody pre-sented between soprano and alto voices in the right hand, and accompanied by two-voice points of imitation in the left hand. The free canon appears at unfixed tonal and temporal intervals. The flowing textures and rich harmonies continue to the end, with only occasional use of the organ pedal for sustained  pitches.