Question of Convenience
Ste, In answer to Mr. Gallagher's query as to where the Vatican edition of the Gregorian Chant may be obtained, it should be stated that the Solesrnes edition Includes the Vatican text-the Solesmes signs being mereliadded to it. A goodly percentage of these added signs have no manuscript or historical warrant whatever, beinglike the Solesmes rhythmic theorya modern invention; the rest. moreover, arc often quite arbitrary both in their selection and interpretation. Nevertheless they have the practical merit of ensuring unanimity of performance, and this doubtless explains why the Solesmes editions have come "to supplant the Vatican edition in this country."
But the list of musicians who have abandoned the Solesmes theory of rhythm, or have never accepted it, is both long and impressive, including many first-rate authorities on Gregorian Chant, Being a modem invention, it was unknown to, and therefore unaccepted by, the great composers, teachers and performers of the past, arid it is certainly not accepted by the great composers, teachers and performers of the present.
If Mr. Gallagher wishes to obtain the plain Vatican text, he may do so from such publishers as Pustet Or Dessain, and (of course) from the Vatican Press.
A. Gregory Murray Downside Abbey, Bath.
Sie,-The Solesmes edition of the Vatican Gradual is identical with the Vatican edition except that rhythmic signs are added.
Theie was such a row going on in 1905 that the Holy Sec issued a typical edition without signs to placate the opponents of Solesmes: even though the very notes and text were the result of years of labour by the monks of Solesmes.
Today the storm has subsided and the difference is comparable to a book with and without punctuation marks. In practice punctuation marks make for unity. even though a skilled cantor can manage without.
Br. Christopher Batley