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Thursday, 10 February 2011

Liturgical music commission...


Listening to newsreader Jon Snow's Desert Island Disc selection the other day I was really struck by this stand out piece shown above which jogged a distant memory of experiencing it before...

Wikipedia reveals that witty composer Gioachino Rossini's Petite Messe Solennelle (Solemn Little Mass) received criticism from none other than Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte that it was 'neither little, solemn nor particularly liturgical'. Rossini prefaced his Mass with this play on words:
Good God—behold completed this poor little Mass—is it indeed sacred music [la musique sacrée] that I have just written, or merely some damned music [la sacré musique]? You know well, I was born for comic opera. Little science, a little heart, that is all. So may you be blessed, and grant me Paradise!
Written unusually for two pianos and a harmonium, this version has the pianos along with what sounds like a pipe organ. It is very daring to provide a musical surprise using upbeat tempo and syncopation in a setting for the Mass. So I am making this my suggestion of liturgical music that would inspire and engage even as a 'performance' choral piece in line with Kathryn's suggestion, more to follow...

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