Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 2.djvu/244

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232
MASS.
 

(Figure rythmique blanche hampe bas.svg = 56–66), with the tenderest possible gradations of light and shade. The Christe—also a slow movement—may often be entrusted, with good effect, to Solo Voices. The second Kyrie is generally a little more animated than the first, and should be taken in a quicker time (Figure rythmique blanche hampe bas.svg = 96–112). The Kyrie of Palestrina's Missa brevis is one of the most beautiful in existence, and by no means difficult to sing, since the true positions of the crescendi and diminuendi can scarcely be mistaken. [See Kyrie.]

While the Choir are singing these three movements, the Celebrant, attended by the Deacon, and Subdeacon, ascends to the Altar, and, having incensed it, repeats the words of the Introit, and Kyrie, in a voice audible to himself and his Ministers alone. On the cessation of the music, he intones, in a loud voice, the words, Gloria in excelsis Deo, to a short Plain Chaunt melody, varying with the nature of the different Festivals, and given, in full, both in the Missal, and the Gradual. [See Intonation.] This Intonation, which may be taken at any pitch conformable to that of the Mass, is not repeated by the Choir, which takes up the strain at Et in terra pax.

The first movement of the Gloria is, in most cases, a very jubilant one (Figure rythmique blanche hampe bas.svg = 100–120): but, the words adoramus te, and Jesu Christe, must always be sung slowly, and softly (Figure rythmique blanche hampe bas.svg = 50–60); and, sometimes, the Gratias agimus, as far as gloriam tuam, is taken a shade slower than the general time, in accordance with the spirit of the Rubric which directs, that, at these several points, the Celebrant and Ministers shall uncover their heads, in token of adoration. After the word, Patris, a pause is made. The Qui tollis is then sung, Adagio (Figure rythmique blanche hampe bas.svg = 56–66); with ritardandi at miserere nobis, and suscipe deprecationem nostrum. At the Quoniam tu solus, the original quick time is resumed, and carried on, with ever increasing spirit, to the end of the movement; except that the words, Jesu Christe, are again delivered slowly, and softly, as before. The provision made, in the Missa Papæ Marcelli, for the introduction of these characteristic changes of Tempo, is very striking, and points clearly to the antiquity of the custom.

The Celebrant now recites the Collects for the day; the Subdeacon sings the Epistle, in a kind of Monotone, with certain fixed Inflexions; the Choir sings the Plain Chaunt Gradual, followed by the Tract, or Sequence, according to the nature of the Festival; and the Deacon sings the Gospel, to its own peculiar Tone. [See Gradual; Tract; Sequence; Accents.] If there be a Sermon, it follows next in order: if not, the Gospel is immediately followed by the Creed.

The words, Credo in unum Deum, are intoned, by the Celebrant, to a few simple notes of Plain Chaunt, which never vary—except in pitch—and which are to be found both in the Gradual, and the Missal. [See Intonation.] The Choir continue, Patrem omnipotentem, in a moderate Allegro, more stately than that of the Gloria (Figure rythmique blanche hampe bas.svg = 96–112), and marked by the closest possible attention to the spirit of the text. A ritardando takes place at Et in unum Dominum; and the words, Jesum Christum, are sung as slowly, and as softly, as in the Gloria, (Figure rythmique blanche hampe bas.svg = 50–60). The quicker time is resumed at Filium Dei; and a grand forte may generally be introduced, with advantage, at Deum de Deo, and continued as far as facto sunt—as in Palestrina's Missa 'Assumpta est Maria,' and many others. After the words, de coelis, a long pause takes place, while the Congregation kneel. The Et incarnatus est then follows, in the form of a soft and solemn Adagio (Figure rythmique blanche hampe bas.svg = 54–63), interrupted, after factus est, by another pause, long enough to enable the people to rise from their knees in silence. The Crucifixus is also a slow movement; the return to the original Allegro being deferred until the Et resurrexit. In the Missa Papæ Marcelli, and many other very fine ones, this part of the Credo is written for four solo voices; but, the necessity for an acceleration of the time at the Et resurrexit is very strongly marked. In the beautiful Missa brevis already mentioned, the Basses lead off the Et resurrexit, in quick time, while the Soprano, and Alto, are still engaged in finishing a ritardando—a very difficult, though by no means uncommon point, which can only be overcome by very careful practice.

Another change of time is sometimes demanded, at Et in Spiritum Sanctum: but, more generally, the Allegro continues to the end of the movement; interrupted only at the words simul adoratur, which are always sung Adagio, and pianissimo, while the Celebrant and Ministers uncover their heads.

The Credo is immediately followed by the Plain Chaunt Offertorium for the day. But, as this is too short to fill up the time occupied by the Celebrant in incensing the Oblations, and saying, secreto, certain appointed Prayers, it is usually supplemented, either by a Motet, or a grand Voluntary on the Organ. [See Motet; Offertorium.] This is followed by the Versicle and Response called the Sursum corda, and the Proper Preface, at the end of which a Bell is rung, and the Sanctus is taken up by the Choir.

The Sanctus is invariably a Largo, of peculiar solemnity (Figure rythmique blanche hampe bas.svg = 56–72). Sometimes, as in Palestrina's very early Mass, Virtute magna, the Pleni sunt coeli is set for Solo Voices. Sometimes, it is sung in chorus, but in a quicker movement, as in the same Composer's Missa Papæ Marcelli, and Æterna Christi munera—involving, in the last-named Mass, a difficulty of the same kind as that which we have already pointed out in the Et resurrexit of the Missa Brevis. The Osanna, though frequently spirited, must never be a noisy movement. In the Missa brevis, so often quoted, it is continuous with the rest of the Sanctus, and