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Herbert Howells

Publisher: Novello & Co

An English Mass (1955)
Novello & Co Ltd
Chorus and Orchestra/Ensemble
Year Composed
33 Minutes
Alternate Orchestration

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Programme Note
Herbert Howells An English Mass (1955)
An English Mass is a concert setting of the ordinary of the Mass in the English translation. Although it concludes with the Gloria as in a Prayerbook Communion service, it was designed for concert use and is dedicated to Harold Darke and the St Michael's Singers. The original scoring was for strings and organ, but a later version with woodwind and timpani is used this evening of this rarely heard work.

Those familiar with the sound of Howells' church music will find the same textures here - long strands of expressive melody supported by rich harmony in thick textures and climaxes of tremendous ecstasy. Like so much of the English choral repertory, the work begins and ends quietly, achieving maximum intensity at various points in between.

Preview the score:

  • 15 MAY 2018
    St. Paul's Church, Covent Garden, London, UK
    City Chamber Choir
    Stephen Jones, conductor
  • 17 MAR 2018
    King's College Chapel, Cambridge, UK
    Choir of King's College Cambridge
    Stephen Cleobury, conductor
  • 28 MAR 2015
    St James the Greater Leicester
    Leicester Bach Choir, Bach Camerata
    Richard Laing, conductor
  • 30 JUN 2012
    St James Church, Muswell Hill, London
    North London Chorus
    Murray Hipkin, conductor
  • 30 JUN 2012
    St James Church, Muswell Hill, London
    North London Chorus and Meridian Sinfonia
    Murray Hipkin, conductor
  • 16 OCT 2011
    King's College Chapel, Cambridge
    Cambridge University Musical Society
  • 29 MAY 2011
    Dorchester Abbey, Oxfordshire
    City of London Choir
    Hilary Davan Wetton, conductor

    Other Dates:
    23 June - St John's Smith Square, London
  • 08 AUG 2008
    Bury St. Edmunds Cathedral, Bury St. Edmunds
    East of England Liturgical Singers
  • 19 NOV 2005
    Holy Trinity Church, London
    Choir of the 21st century

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