Bernstein: Mass

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When Leonard Bernstein was asked by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis to compose the inaugural piece for the opening of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D. C., he wrote 'The Mass is also an extremely dramatic event in itself - it even suggests a theater work'.

Premiered on 8 September 1971, with additional words by Stephen Schwartz of Godspell fame, Mass is a remarkable visionary piece with a kaleidoscope of musical styles that touches on themes of political protest, existential crisis, and religious faith lost and found.

"Alsop's Jubilant Sykes is the best of all possible celebrants... Sykes was born to play this part.... Alsop is at the root of everything, of course, and her Baltimore players surge ever forward... Alsop and co have probed so deeply, it is not at all assured that the old doubts will not resurface at some point. Blistering." Gramophone CD of the Month

"This Naxos issue is a virtual triumph from beginning to end.... In terms of technical achievement it trumps all...the Baltimore Symphony plays most eloquently, particularly in the many lyrical woodwind passages. Engineering is superb, as is [the] booklet essay... Alsop's tight-knit, symphonic pacing delineates the structure of the work without diluting its exuberant eclecticism or softening its hard road towards spiritual awakening." BBC Music Magazine Choral Choice

"[Marin Alsop has done her mentor proud...from the start, Alsop conducts with inspiring rhythmic energy...her pacing is superb...the result is not only a welcome opportunity to revisit Mass but also an experience that is both thrilling and moving....This outstanding performance comes with the benefit of excellent sound...from every point of view, this can be counted a triumphant success."
International Record Review Outstanding Award

Item number 8559622-23
Barcode 636943962220
Release date 27/07/2009
Category 20th Century
Label Naxos Classics
Media type CD
Number of units 2
Artists Sykes, Jubilant
Sykes, Jubilant
Conductors Alsop, Marin
Alsop, Marin
Orchestras Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Disc: 1
1 Devotions before Mass: Antiphon: Kyrie eleison (Hi
2 Devotions before Mass: Hymn and Psalm, "A Simple S
3 Devotions before Mass: Responsory, "Alleluia" (Sop
4 First Introit: Prefatory Prayers (Street Chorus, S
5 First Introit: Thrice-Triple Canon: Dominus vobisc
6 Second Introit: In nomine Patris (Boys' Choir, Cho
7 Second Introit: Prayer for the Congregation, "Almi
8 Second Introit: Epiphany (Celebrant)
9 Confession: Confiteor (Chorus)
10 Confession: Trope, "I Don't Know" (First Rock Sing
11 Confession: Trope, "Easy" (First Blues Singer, Sec
12 Meditation No. 1
13 Gloria: Gloria tibi (Celebrant, Boys' Choir)
14 Gloria: Gloria in Excelsis (Chorus)
15 Gloria: Trope, "Half of the People" (Street Chorus
16 Gloria: Trope, "Thank You" (Soprano, Street Chorus
17 Meditation No. 2
18 Epistle: "The Word of the Lord" (Celebrant, A Youn
19 Gospel-Sermon: "God Said" (Preacher, Street Chorus
20 Credo: Credo in unum Deum (Celebrant, Chorus)
21 Credo: Trope: "Non Credo" (Street Chorus Male Grou
22 Credo: Trope, "Hurry" (Mezzo-soprano) - Sedet ad d
23 Credo: Trope, "World without End" (Street Chorus,
24 Credo: Trope, "I Believe in God" (3 Solo Voices, S
25 Meditation No. 3 (De profundis, Part 1) (Chorus, C
26 Offertory (De profundis, Part 2) (Boys' Choir, Cho
Disc: 2
1 The Lord's Prayer: Our Father … (Celebrant)
2 The Lord's Prayer: Trope, "I Go On" (Celebrant)
3 Sanctus (Celebrant, Boys' Choir, Chorus, Counter-t
4 Agnus Dei (Soloists of Street Chorus, Street Choru
5 Fraction: "Things Get Broken" (Celebrant)
6 Pax: Communion, "Secret Songs" (Boy Soprano, Bass,
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