The Mass of Chrism (2017)

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Opening HymnAll people that on earth do dwell (arr. Vaughan Williams)
KyrieKyrie Eleison from Mass of the Redeemer (mcb)
Gloriafrom New Mass for John Carroll (Michael Joncas)
Responsorial PsalmO Lord, I will sing of your constant love (Christopher Walker)
Gospel AcclamationGlory and Praise (mcb)
Procession of the OilsO Redeemer (Paul Ford/mcb)
Preparation of the GiftsWe Come to Your Feast (Michael Joncas)
Sanctus, Acclamation C, AmenMissal tone in English
Agnus DeiMass XVIII (chant) & Missa O Quam Gloriosum (T.L. de Victoria, c.1548-1611)
CommunionCome to Me and Drink (Bob Hurd)
Eripe Me (Rihards Dubra, b.1964)
Soul of my Saviour
Recessional HymnHail Redeemer, King Divine

There was a certain amount of vacillation in our preparation of Dubra’s beautiful Eripe Me. At the climactic moment the score gives the sopranos a top G natural over a chord of A♭ major, a sudden moment of arresting (if gentle) discord in a generally serene prayer for divine assistance. At a fairly late stage I found the recording by the Cambridge Chorale, in which the (apparently) offending note is amended to a more emollient G♭. Having foisted last-minute remedial learning on our soprano section, I then had a swift exchange of emails with Dubra’s publisher Musica Baltica, who assured me that the composer’s intentions were less conciliatory than the Cambridge Chorale might have reckoned, and recommending an alternative recording with the right note in. We went with their advice, and the result was satisfyingly gritty (in a beautiful serene sort of way) at the crucial moment.

At Bishop John’s suggestion during the planning stages, I ditched the lengthy choir piece I had intended for the Preparation of the Gifts, and gave the people their voice. It worked a treat.

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