Music and Transcriptions
The four chants (labeled 1 through 8 here to show each chant is sung to two texts) represent two chant genres: antiphon and responsory. The first chant (nos. 1 and 2)––the Magnificat antiphon for Vespers––is slightly more elaborate than the last chant (nos. 7 and 8, the fifth antiphon of Lauds with psalm verse). Not included in the original manuscript, the Magnificat is a reconstruction based on the differentiae indicated at the end of the antiphon on folio 18v. The last chant, the psalm verse of which is not included in the manuscript, uses the same differentiae as the Magnificat antiphon. The two responsories, surrounded by the two antiphons, are significantly more elaborate with long melismas and expanded ambitus, which may raise challenges to define the mode. The first responsory (nos. 3 and 4, the second responsory of the second nocturne of Matins), encompassing both the authentic and plagal ranges, is better understood in mode 5 than in mode 6 because of the emphasis on C as the reciting tone and the characteristic mode 5 opening gesture. The second responsory (nos. 5 and 6, the third responsory of the second nocturne of Matins) is more clearly in mode 6. Here, the word “memorie” (memory), together with “thesauro” (treasure), receives an extraordinarily long melisma.
Five students of the Department of Music at Columbia University kindly contributed their angelic voices to the recording of the Francis/Clare chants at the Grotto Church of Notre Dame, New York on April 14, 2015: Elliott S. Cairns, Paula Harper, Anne Levitsky, Isabella Livorni, and Matthew Ricketts. Although historically these chants were likely to be sung by the nuns, male voices are assigned to the singing of the Franciscan chants in order to highlight the differences between the Franciscan and the Clarissan chants. Each chant is intoned by a soloist, and the Magnificat is sung by alternating voices. The transcriptions are elegantly digitized by Dr. Jane Huber.