Palm Sunday, March 20th, The First Unitarian Choir and Soloists Directed by Adam Podd present Missa Mundi Mixta

2016 March 9
by DoMC

Missa Mundi Mixta, which translates to Mass of Eclectic World Music, will include the four traditional movements of the Christian mass (Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei) from four different composers and musical traditions. It is to be presented in the Sanctuary of First Unitarian during the congregation’s regular worship service at 11:o0AM.  

The Kyrie from Misa Criolla, was written by Ariel Ramirez in 1963, and is based on South American folk music, especially the rhythmic and melodic vocabulary of Argentina.  Gloria from Paul Basler’s Missa Kenya (1995) is described by the composer as a “synthesis of sorts between two musical cultures”.  Some of it is drawn from Catholic mysticism, and much of the music and its gestures from choral traditions in East Africa, where Basler spent a residency in 1993. 

Venturing west but remaining in the African tradition, our Sanctus comes from Fr. Guido Haazen’s mass in the Congolese style, Missa Luba (1963), which draws heavily from the improvisatory nature of African music.  The choir will close with the Agnus Dei from American composers Paul Winter’s and Jim Scott’s Missa Gaia (Earth Mass, 1982).  Paul Winter writes about this movement: “The inspiration for our Agnus Dei came from the words of Dr. Wilfred T. Grenfell, a medical missionary to Labrador in 1909: ‘It has not been easy to convey to the Eskimo mind the meaning of the Oriental similes of the Bible. Thus the lamb of God had to be translated kotik or young seal. This animal, with its perfect witness, as it lies in its cradle of ice, its gentle, helpless nature, and its pathetic innocent eyes, is probably as apt a substitute, however, as nature offers’.”  Winter used his piece Seal Eyes as the basis for the composition, over which Jim Scott has written an exquisite choral composition.

This Palm Sunday, come enjoy a newly curated Missa Mundi Mixta from our choir and soloists, as well as guest instrumentalists, including percussion, soprano saxophone, and double bass.

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