"Missa super cantiones profanae" - próba reaktywowania renesansowej praktyki kompozytorskiej
Wydział Kompozycji, Teorii Muzyki i Reżyserii Dźwięku (Akademia Muzyczna im. Feliksa Nowowiejskiego w Bydgoszczy)
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The musical work and its creators (10)
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Wydawnictwo Uczelniane Akademii Muzycznej im. F. Nowowiejskiego w Bydgoszczy
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"Missa super cantiones profanae" - próba reaktywowania renesansowej praktyki kompozytorskiej
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In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, there was quite a surprising flowering of compositional practice consisting in adapting love songs in the liturgical music. During the Renaissance, composers created tens so called paraphrase mass cycles based on themes of popular chansons. This unique trend (rich in masterpieces of sacred polyphony) disappeared in the early seventeenth century as a result of the ideological barrier established during Counter-Reformation Synod of Trent (1545-1563) by banning the use of secular themes to make music to mark the Christian worship. It was not until the mid-twentieth century, as a result of the reform decrees of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965)—an efforts to modernize (aggiornamento) of the Catholic Church, among other significantly liberalizing existing restrictions on the church music— to the liturgical compositions once again began to spread through the elements of popular music. A few years ago I thought that this is the opportune moment to bring back to life the forgotten Renaissance tradition of creating a paraphrase masses, but this time based on contemporary hit tunes. In 2004, I created a sketch entitled Missa plagiata, and in 2012 this work, after making a number of corrections, was renamed the Missa super cantiones profanae to avoid improper associations in the era of the restrictive copyright legislation. Before composing this experimental work I took a few general assumptions. With reference to the cast most commonly used in the renaissance masses I decided to use strictly 4-part choir. The desire to sound assimilation cycle to its former counterparts required the adoption of modalities as the basis for forming linear structures, counterpoint, vertical relationships and consistent use of polyphonic texture based on the imitation. In order to test the adaptive possibilities of the genre I decided to use as a cantus firmi several different tunes to see if it is possible to develop a coherent whole from the stylistically disparate sources. I also incorporated a few illustrative figures (melodic and textural) typical for renaissance masses and motets to show the most important tools of the sixteenth-century composer. As the principal motive of Missa super cantiones profanae I have chosen the traditional English ballad Scarborough Fair, popularized in the mid-60s the last century by the duo Simon & Garfunkel. Following in the footsteps of traditional music as a second cantus firmus I have chosen a patriotic song, The Minstrel Boy, derived from the Celtic circles. A kind of tribute to lovers of rock music are two more themes, taken from the repertoire of The Beatles: You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away and Norwegian Wood. For complete list of cited sources I mention the fifth tune, this time the religious, which occurred to be already in the process of composing. It is a hymn Christus vincit, Christus regnat performed during the Palm Sunday procession. In this paper I show how these source melodies are woven into the narrative and converted into a four-part polyphonic texture.
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