Hidden Mass

The concert opens with Frank Martin’s Mass for Double Chorus, now recognized as one of the great masterpieces of 20th century a cappella choral music. Swiss-born Martin was an extremely self-critical composer who would lock away his manuscripts for long periods, often hobbled by a belief that his work would never measure up to the genius of his idol, Bach. He completed his Mass in 1922. Only after the urging of close friends, he finally relented to its premiere in 1963. Since then, audiences continue to be moved by its flowing rhythmic vitality and rich harmonic writing of considerable passion and beauty.

Zoltán Kodály’s poignant Missa Brevis, for chorus and organ, hints at a multitude of influences including Gregorian chant, Bach, Handel and Hungarian folk music. During the Nazi occupation of Hungary in 1944, Kodály and his wife took refuge in the basement of the Budapest Opera House where, somewhat improbably, he composed his Missa Brevis. This performance will showcase the incredible textures and sonorities of the Missa Brevis, with organist Paolo Bordignon at St. Bart’s amazing Æolian-Skinner pipe organ.

Add a Comment