Monday, April 07, 2008

Mass of the Ascension at the Church of Our Saviour, NYC

The following was sent in to the NLM:

A Missa Cantata will be celebrated on the Vigil of the Feast of the Ascension, Wednesday April 30 in the Usus Antiquior (Latin), fulfilling the Holy Day Obligation, at 6:00 PM.

Music for the Mass will be the Missa Choralis of Franz Liszt. He wrote this work during a difficult period in the history of Church music. As a result of the increasing secularization of the nineteenth century, the practice of liturgical choral music had declined. Liszt attributed the low state of Church music in his time to a crisis in the Church. The Missa Choralis was written for the Sistine Chapel in 1865. In this work, Liszt makes use of both elements of Gregorian tradition and contemporary hymn tunes, thus taking advantage of a wide spectrum of musical possibilities. This single work combines modal writing, passages with simple harmonies and colorful chromatic sophistication.

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