Sunday GCPO hymn, for Michaelmas, CAELITES PLAUDANT
Yes, it's that time of year again - late September, a time for the scent of autumn air, the color of turning leaves, and, of course, the clouds of incense for Michaelmas, the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels. The tune CAELITES PLAUDANT is one of the majestic hymn settings sometimes referred to as one of the "French diocesan" tunes, which seemed to disappear for a century before re-emerging in the English Hymnal, harmonized by Ralph Vaughan Williams. The 9th C text "Christ the fair glory of the holy angels" is assigned to this day, and was set to this tune by Vaughan Williams.
This demo follows my usual trajectory - a brief intro, hymnal verse, an a cappella verse, and finally, the point of all this, the descant verse. I try to write my descants to be tunes in and of themselves, reharmonizing the organ part as needed. Often, the congregation singing the tune is unaware that there is frequently no independent line of voice leading assisting them...and armed with false confidence (and having had four or five verses to practice), they never lose their way as they provide the single most important voice in the arrangement!
The text of the tune celebrates the otherworldly work on earth of Christ, three archangels by name (Michael -defender, Garbriel-evangelist, and Raphael-healer), a paean to Mary and to the saints, and finally a doxology.
If you can't tell by now, I am very much enjoying GCPO, and am working through my existing demos to upgrade them all to GCPO. There are many, many houses of worship who lack an instrument as good as this one. I will get to hear this one live shortly, the processional hymn sung by a fine choir, played by a gifted organist, and all accompanied by clouds of incense.
BASS WARNING: there is a huge pedal in my arrangements, that render perfectly at flat response and sound like the real thing. (Sony MDR-class headphones. Awesome.) Turn off bass boost, and make sure your subwoofer is either dialed down or securely attached to the floor.