As many of you may remember, Adam Bartlett’s Simple English Propers was a product of this blog right here, the Chant Cafe, as Adam posted them weekly, received feedback, and people began using them. Then after they were published, Jeffrey Tucker posted weekly rehearsal videos for quite some time.
Below Jeffrey has posted the exciting news that the SEP downloads page has been updated with the files that appear in the final draft of the Simple English Propers which will be available in print in about two weeks.
We’ve already received news from people who have discovered that there are some substantial differences between these versions now available and the ones they had previously downloaded for their choirs. The reason for this is that those that were posted before were early drafts–beta releases, if you will–that were heavily edited over the past month as the entire cycle of antiphons was brought to our now stable and initial release.
This news is hardly new to my own poor choirs who have been going through this version control issue for many months now! Planning ahead is difficult when one is working in real time. So I think that my own parish choirs will possibly be the most grateful to see this book in printed form.
In fact, last night at schola rehearsal we actually used for the first time the paperback proof that I received earlier this week. The excitement was tangible. While Brina, one of our cantors, was singing the psalm verses out of this book I couldn’t help but snap a quick picture:
Although this may be a bit late for some, I received an inquiry this morning asking for Simple English Propers for the Solemnity of the Annunciation, which is celebrated today. We are now completing Feast and Solemnities as the last leg of this project and the complete draft will be done immanently, however the Annunciation portion is not ready to go yet.
Please note that there is an error in the Easter Sunday edition of the Simple English Propers (Introit, Resurrexi) that was previously released. Verses from Psalm 138 were given instead of Psalm 139, the correct psalm for the Easter Day Introit.
This error has been corrected and the updated version of the score can be downloaded here. If you previously downloaded this score please update to the most recent version. My apologies for the mistake.
Download Simple English Propers for the feasts at the conclusion of the Easter Season:
Note that there are no propers in this collection for Good Friday. The reason for this, of course, is that there is no Introit, Offertory or Communion prescribed for this day. The SEP collection is only focusing on these three processional chants, which are typically the bulk of the proper for typical Sundays and Feasts, but as we know, Holy Week is its own beast.
One place where I broke the convention of the book was with the Offertory that is prescribed for Holy Thursday in the Graduale Romanum. This is the well known and very simple Ubi Caritas. The text and the musical setting for this chant are verbatim from the new English translation of the Roman Missal. The musical structure is identical to the Graduale Romanum and the text is newly translated as a part of the Roman Missal effort. I actually find it to be very nice!
So while the Simple English Propers book will be very useful for the week-to-week liturgical “grind”, when it comes to Holy Week additional resources will surely be needed.