Academic journal article Canadian University Music Review

The Canadian Musical Heritage/Le Patrimoine Musical Canadien: Sacred Choral Music II/Choeurs Religieux et Liturgiques II

Academic journal article Canadian University Music Review

The Canadian Musical Heritage/Le Patrimoine Musical Canadien: Sacred Choral Music II/Choeurs Religieux et Liturgiques II

Article excerpt

CLIFFORD, FORD, ed. The Canadian Musical Heritage/Le Patrimoine musical canathen: Sacred Choral Music Hf Choeurs religieux et liturgiques II, Vol. 9, Ottawa: The Canadian Musical Heritage Society, 1988, xxviii, 279 pp.

The Canadian Musical Heritage Society continues its admirable series of publications devoted to Canadian music with a second volume devoted to religious works. This volume, edited by Clifford Ford, contains 46 examples of choral music drawn from the Protestant (mostly Anglican) and Roman Catholic traditions, and is restricted to anthems and canticles in English and Latin motets. The composers represented therein were active in the period from 1880 to 1920. The society has plans for future volumes which will investigate this genre of music in the period after 1920 and will include works of greater magnitude, such as masses and Communion services.

There are many positive attributes to this edition. Most of the music has long been out-of-print, and its republication allows us to view Canadian church music coming of age during a time marked by controversy (as seen in the continued efforts of the Oxford Movement in the Church of England) and change (the Motu proprio of 1903 in the Roman Cathohc church). Concurrent with this re-evaluation of the role of music in the worship service was the emergence of a thriving publishing industry in Canada, whose efforts in the field of religious music represent an important aspect of Canadian music pubhshing prior to 1920. These, and many other topics relevant to the composition, performance and dissemination of sacred choral music in Canada, are discussed in the exceUent introduction provided by the editor. Ford begins by defining the limitations of the volume, follows with a brief overview of the publishing trade in the era, and ends this section of the introduction with an investigation into the types of musical activity found in the Protestant and Roman Catholic churches of the time. The introduction concludes with critical notes which, in addition to the discussion of textual variants and other matters of musicological interest, provide publication data for each piece, locations of copies and originals (where extant), and brief biographical information on the composers.

Ford's editorial eye is sharp and numerous mistakes in the original copies have been corrected in clear and logical ways in the facsimile reproductions. …

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