Bernstein: MASS (2-CD)

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Item: 194398905624

Description

Bernstein: MASS (2-CD)

Composer: Leonard Bernstein
Artists: Alan Titus, The Norman Scribner Choir, The Berkshire Boy Choir, Studio Orchestra
Conductor: Leonard Bernstein
Number of Discs: 2
Label: Sony
Release Date: July 13, 2021

When Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis asked Bernstein to compose a piece for the 1971 inauguration of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., he was eager to honor the occasion with a new, large-scale work because he had always wanted “to compose a service of one sort or another.”

The son of Russian-Jewish parents, a social liberal, and lifelong activist, Bernstein made a surprising choice: the Roman Catholic Mass. But instead of a straightforward, purely musical setting of the Latin liturgy, he created a broadly eclectic theatrical event by placing the 400-year-old religious rite into a tense, dramatic dialog with music and lyrics of the 20th century vernacular alongside the original Latin, using this dialectic to explore the crisis in faith and cultural breakdown of the post-Kennedy era.

Over the years, the ideas and dissent embodied in MASS, which were so threatening to the political and religious establishments in the volatile early 1970s, have become a more accepted part of spiritual and political discourse. MASS came full circle when, in 2000, Pope John Paul II requested a performance at the Vatican.

Its radical mixing of musical styles, too, has also become less shocking and more accepted in the musical sphere. Time has revealed MASS to be a visionary piece that continues to be relevant and move audiences as it enjoys performances around the world.



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