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Lennox Berkeley

Publisher: Chester Music

Missa Brevis (1960),
Work Notes
dedicated to Michael and Julian Berkeley and the boys of Westminster Cathedral Choir
Publisher
Chester Music Ltd
Category
Chorus a cappella / Chorus plus 1 instrument
Year Composed
1960
Duration
11 Minutes
Chorus
SATB
Orchestration
Alternate Orchestration
also available in version for Anglican service
Availability


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Programme Note
Lennox Berkeley Missa Brevis (1960),
This work was written in 1960 and first performed in that year by Westminster Cathedral Choir under Francis Cameron.

As with many other 20th century works with this title, Missa Brevis here implies no more than a Mass of modest proportions with organ accompaniment. The vocal scoring, for instance, never expands beyond four-part. This simplicity of texture, however, combined with the conservative dimensions belies a consummate musical technique and affinity with the text. The style is based upon imitative polyphony which serves both to give the work a generally contemplative nature and also to highlight the more assertive homophonic passages. Of special interest is the Sanctus which, particularly at ‘Pleni sunt coeli’, employs the rather more dissonant, fourth-dominated harmony with which Berkeley was experimenting at the time.

© James Rushton, 1982

  • Ensemble
    Bristol Cathedral Choir
    Conductor
    C Brayne
    Priory:
  • Ensemble
    Warwick St Mary's Collegiate Church Choir
    Soloist(s)
    S Lole
    Conductor
    C Matthews
    Abbey:
  • Ensemble
    Warwick St Mary's Collegiate Church Choir
    Soloist(s)
    S Lole
    Conductor
    C Matthews
    Abbey:
  • Ensemble
    Choir of St John's College, Cambridge
    Soloist(s)
    Jonathan Vaughn, organ
    Conductor
    Christopher Robinson
    Naxos:
  • Ensemble
    Choir of St Alban's Abbey
    Conductor
    Stephen Darlington
    Priory:
  • Ensemble
    Choir of Clare College Cambridge
    Conductor
    Tim Brown
    Meridian:
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