I was surprised that I was able to find Liber usualis chants hit our concert at the beginning, middle, and ending . . . that made me pretty happy.
I've also been corresponding with composer Cecilia McDowall today - we talked a little about the Regina caeli and I found the original plainchant in the Liber usualis and sent it to her after her first email.
I remember looking at Regina caeli plainchant before writing the motet and something of that footprint stayed with me, only speeded up! The Alleluia’s seemed opportunities for contemplation after the faster passages and each harmonic shift downwards allowed for a return to the opening statement as the climax of the work without pushing the soprano line higher.
Wow, you are most impressively on the case!
Thank you for the Liber usualis download. Looking back, I can’t be certain of how I thought about the writing of Regina caeli; nothing literal from the plainchant, more a feel of the stepwise shape of the chant phrasing, I think.
You raise an interesting point about the ending. A final, plangent conclusion could indeed bring the work to a resounding close and yet I wanted something which might be a little subtle, something which could melt into a big acoustic of, say, our larger cathedrals or College Chapels, something to slip away into the distance. Not an apologetic ending, more one that might just bring the listener back to a mood of meditation.I worked some of her comments into the program notes. Let me know what you think.