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Mass Appeal

posted Aug 9, 2015, 4:33 PM by Bob Rudi   [ updated Aug 9, 2015, 4:59 PM by admin user ]
Mass Appeal is the title of our 2015 program and features two of the most appealing settings of the mass texts in all the literature. I am pleased to introduce a young composer – Ola Gjeilo – whose music is really gaining popularity around the world. He hails from Norway and lives in New York City. His music has been described as “cinematic” and is very satisfying to sing and enjoyable to hear. His Sunrise Mass is a beautiful and different kind of mass setting – using the text to express music, rather than using music to express the text. Every voice part gets wonderful melodies, while the mood shifts from ethereal to concrete. While the music is modern, it is very “accessible” and tonal – very much in the fashion of John Williams and the late James Horner (there’s that cinematic reference). Accompanied by a lush string orchestra, these movements will stay with you for a long time. I conducted this piece in May with the composer present, and had the opportunity to discuss it with him at length.

In complete contrast to the
Sunrise Mass is one of the greats that has stood the test of time – Mozart’s Coronation Mass. This piece is muscular and energetic, colorful, engaging and relentlessly joyful. Full chorus alternates with individual and quartet solos throughout. The orchestra is colorful with winds, timpani and organ included.

These two works provide a tremendous variety of musical expression along with great audience appeal!