Masstiche the First

Kyrie – Stephen Hatfield (b. 1956) – Missa Brevis
Gloria – Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643) – Messe a 4 voci
Credo – Arvo Pärt (b. 1935) – Missa Syllabica
Sanctus – Antonio Salieri (1750-1825) – Missa Stylo a cappella
Agnus Dei – Stephen Hatfield (b. 1956) – Missa Brevis

Masstiche the Second

Kyrie – Machaut (c.1300-1377) Messe de Nostre Dame
Gloria – Ockeghem (c.1410 – 1497) – Missa Cuiusvis Toni
Credo – Johann Wenzel Kalliwoda (1801 – 1866) – Missa in a
Sanctus – Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) – Missa Brevis
Agnus Dei – James MacMillan (b. 1959) – Missa Brevis

Masstiche the Third

Kyrie – Gounod (1818-1893)- 2me Messe pour les societes chorales
Gloria – Grzegorz Gorczycki (1665-1734) – Missa Paschalis
Credo – Pierre Colin (fl. 1538-1572) – Missa Confitemini
Sanctus – William Byrd (c. 1539-1623) – Mass for 4 Voices
Agnus Dei – Barber (1910-1981) – String Quartet No. 1, Op. 11


Program Notes

When I think of the word “pastiche” I think of a hodgepodge, a salamagundi, a melange.  The word “pastiche” derives from a greco-Roman dish, pastitsio or pasticcio, a pie made of many different ingredients.

But “pastiche” can also mean an imitation; emulating or parroting existing forms and works of art.  Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes is a constant victim of pastiche. The Star Wars series is a pastiche of traditional science fiction serials, Norse, Greek and Roman mythology and Wagner.

Sometimes the descriptor means both; Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” can be considered a pastiche in both senses of the word, as there are many distinct styles imitated in the song, which mishmash to create one fairly cohesive work.

Tonight, the descriptor means both.  The three masstiche presentations have elements of farrago as well as elements of imitation.  In one, Arvo Pärt uses pastiche to hearken back to early medieval chant while Salieri nods to pastiche by channeling the styles of Renaissance composers; our performance pairs them both in the same mass.

Each masstiche takes the same basic form; the ordinary of the mass, the set of texts of the Roman Rite Mass that are generally invariable.   There are five movements in a mass ordinary; Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus and Benedictus, and Agnus Dei.

The text of the Kyrie is from the ancient Greek language, unlike the rest of the mass, which is Latin.

I. Kyrie

Kyrie eleison; Christe eleison; Kyrie eleison

Lord have mercy; Christ, have mercy; Lord, have mercy.

II. Gloria

Gloria in excelsis Deo et in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntatis. Laudamus te, benedicimus te, adoramus te, glorificamus te, gratias agimus tibi

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men of good will. We praise You, we bless You, we adore You, we glorify You, we give thanks

propter magnam gloriam tuam, Domine Deus, Rex caelestis, Deus Pater omnipotens.

to You for Your great glory, Lord God, heavenly King, almighty God the Father.

Domine Fili unigenite, Jesu Christe, Domine Deus, Agnus Dei, Filius Patris, qui tollis peccata mundi,

Lord Jesus Christ, only begotten Son, Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, who taketh away the sins of the world,

miserere nobis; qui tollis peccata mundi, suscipe deprecationem nostram. Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris, miserere nobis.

Have mercy on us; You who take away the sins of the world, hear our prayers. Who sits at the right hand of the Father, have mercy upon us.

Quoniam tu solus Sanctus, tu solus Dominus, tu solus Altissimus, Iesu Christe, cum Sancto Spiritu in gloria Dei Patris. Amen.

For You are the only Holy One, the only Lord, the only Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit in the glory of God the Father, Amen.

The Credo is recognizable in translation as the Nicene Creed.

III. Credo

Credo in unum Deum, Patrem omnipotentem,

I believe in one God, the Father Almighty

factorem caeli et terrae, visibilium omnium et invisibilium.

Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible:

Et in unum Dominum Jesum Christum,

And in one Lord Jesus Christ,

Filium Dei unigenitum, et ex Patre natum ante omnia saecula.

the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds;

Deum de Deo, Lumen de Lumine, Deum verum de Deo vero,

God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God;

genitum non factum, consubstantialem Patri;

begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father,

per quem omnia facta sunt.

by Whom all things were made;

Qui propter nos homines et propter nostram salutem descendit de caelis.

Who for us men and for our salvation came down from Heaven.

Et incarnatus est de Spiritu Sancto ex Maria Virgine, et homo factus est.

and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was made man:

Crucifixus etiam pro nobis sub Pontio Pilato, passus et sepultus est,

And was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; he suffered and was buried:

et resurrexit tertia die, secundum Scripturas,

And the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures:

et ascendit in caelum, sedet ad dexteram Patris.

And ascended into Heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father:

Et iterum venturus est cum gloria, iudicare vivos et mortuos,

And he shall come again, with glory, to judge both the living and the dead:

cuius regni non erit finis;

Whose Kingdom will have no end;

Et in Spiritum Sanctum, Dominum et vivificantem,

And I believe in the Holy Ghost the Lord, and Giver of Life,

qui ex Patre Filioque procedit.

Who proceedeth from the Father and the Son

Qui cum Patre et Filio simul adoratur et conglorificatur:

Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified,

qui locutus est per prophetas.

Who has spoken through the Prophets.

Et unam, sanctam, catholicam et apostolicam Ecclesiam.

And I believe in One Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church,

Confiteor unum baptisma in remissionem peccatorum.

I acknowledge one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins.

Et expecto resurrectionem mortuorum,

And I look for the Resurrection of the Dead:

et vitam venturi saeculi. Amen.

And the Life of the world to come. Amen.

The Sanctus is a doxology (from the Greek doxa, glory + logos, word or speaking), a short hymn of praise to God; the tradition derives from a similar practice in the Jewish synagogue where a version of the Kaddish ends each section of the service.  The Sanctus is designed to praise the Trinity.  As the music of the mass developed, the Sanctus settings began to be so long that they outlasted the portion of the service they were designed to cover, overshadowing the consecration of the bread and wine.  The consecration was considered the most important part of the Mass, so composers began to stop the Sanctus halfway through to allow this to happen, and then continue, after the consecration, with the Benedictus.  Sometimes the Benedictus is eliminated entirely.

IV. Sanctus and Benedictus

Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus, Dominus Deus Sabaoth; pleni sunt coeli et terra gloria tua

Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts; Heaven and earth are full of Your glory.

Hosanna in excelsis

Hosanna in the highest.

Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini.

Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord

VI. Agnus Dei

Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi,

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world,

miserere nobis.

have mercy upon us.

Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi,

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world,

miserere nobis.

have mercy upon us.

Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi,

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world,

dona nobis pacem.

grant us peace.

Masstiche the First

Kyrie – Stephen Hatfield (b. 1956) – Missa Brevis

Gloria – Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643) – Messe a 4 voci

Credo – Arvo Pärt (b. 1935) – Missa Syllabica

Sanctus – Antonio Salieri (1750-1825) – Missa Stylo a cappella

Agnus Dei- Stephen Hatfield (b. 1956) – Missa Brevis

The first masstiche begins with a Kyrie from Stephen Hatfield’s  Missa Brevis.  The unifying theme of Hatfield’s short mass is incorporation of folk melodies in each movement; the Kyrie is based on the Gaelic burial song Cro Chinn Tsaile (The Fold of Kintail).

Arc back to the 1600s as the masstiche continues with Monteverdi’s Gloria from Messe a 4 voci.  Though its date of composition is unknown, musicologists assume that it was written after 1610 and was not published until Alessandro Vincenti did so in 1651.  Though Monteverdi is best remembered as an innovator of the then new seconda prattica, church records indicate that he purchased Mass settings by Palestrina, a master of prima prattica, for use in daily Mass services at St. Mark’s. Monteverdi wrote multiple prima prattica settings of the Mass Ordinary text himself, though only three of them are extant.   Monteverdi’s Messe a 4 voci is written in the Dorian mode, a scale associated with Renaissance music, and uses imitative counterpoint typical of the prima prattica.  However, it also uses madrigal-like use of expressive dissonances and phrases are deliberately kept relatively short, often with a single note for each syllable so that the text can be clearly understood, techniques associated with the seconda prattica.   Everything old is new again.

Which takes us nicely into the Credo from Arvo Pärt’s Missa syllabica, originally published in 1977 for voices with orchestra and revised in 1996 for voices with organ.  Pärt is best known for his creation of the compositional style tintinnabuli (from the Latin tinnabulae meaning “of bells”), which was influenced by the composer’s mystical experiences with chant music. The works often have a slow and meditative tempo, and a minimalist approach to both notation and performance.   As a musical language, tintinnabuli is concerned with three essential elements: the triad, the linear melodic line, and silence.  Though written for voices with organ, Missa syllabica can also be performed with voices singing the triadic pitches of the organ, as Octarium demonstrates tonight.

We leave 1996 and return to 1767, with Salieri’s Missa Stylo a cappella.  Though Salieri is often pictured, à la F. Murray Abraham, as a conniving, self-conscious, jealous murderer, Salieri and Mozart did not have as bile-filled a relationship as legend portrays.  The biographer Alexander Wheelock Thayer believes that Mozart’s suspicions of Salieri might have originated with an incident in 1781 when Mozart applied to be the music teacher of the Princess of Württemberg and Salieri was selected instead. “Salieri and his tribe will move heaven and earth to put it down,” Leopold Mozart wrote to his daughter Nannerl.   This perception began to work its way into uniform myth at the beginning of the 19th century when growing German nationalism led to a tendency to exalt Mozart while defamining the Italian Salieri.  This shift is evidenced by Alexander Pushkin’s Mozart and Salieri (1831), a dramatic study of the sin of envy, which was set by Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov as an opera of the same name in 1898.   In Albert Lortzing’s 1832 comic opera Singspiel Szenen aus Mozarts Leben the cliché of the jealous Salieri trying to hinder Mozart’s career is given full treatment.  Despite these popular culture references, there is very little actual evidence of a vexed relationship between the two composers. For example, when Salieri was appointed Kapellmeister in 1788 he revived Figaro instead of premiering a new opera of his own.  Salieri and Mozart even composed the cantata Per la ricuperata salute di Ophelia together.  Mozart biographer Maynard Solomon cites Mozart’s last surviving letter from 14 October 1791, in which Mozart tells his wife that he collected Salieri and Caterina Cavalieri in his carriage and drove them both to the opera.  The letter also discusses Salieri’s attendance at Mozart’s opera The Magic Flute;  “He heard and saw with all his attention, and from the overture to the last choir there was no piece that didn’t elicit a “Bravo!” or “Bello!” out of him …”

Salieri’s Missa stylo a cappella in C major, dated 2 August 1767, was composed a year after Salieri’s arrival in Vienna, probably under the instruction of his benefactor Florian Leopold Gassmann (1729-1774), who brought the sixteen-year-old orphan to Vienna in 1766. Composed in strict contrapuntal style for four voices (without basso continuo), the mass lacks a Gloria and may have been intended for performance on a Sunday during Advent or Lent, although there is no evidence of a performance either during Salieri’s lifetime or after his death.

The masstiche closes with a return to Hatfield’s Missa Brevis, with an Agnus Dei taken from a melody from the Isongo people of Central Africa.  Though considered a lullaby, the melody is brisk and almost angry, a twist on the text; “Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.”  Hatfield musically adds a comma, italics and a question mark with his setting; “Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world?”  The movement ends with a return to the burial song of the opening Kyrie, soothing the anger and making amends.

Masstiche the Second

Kyrie – Machaut (c. 1300-1377) – Messe de Nostre Dame

Gloria – Johannes Ockeghem (c.1410 – 1497) – Missa Cuiusvis Toni

Credo – Johann Wenzel Kalliwoda (1801 – 1866) – Missa in a

Sanctus – Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) – Missa Brevis

Agnus Dei – James MacMillan (b. 1959) – Missa Brevis

Machaut’s Messe de Nostre Dame is one of the earliest complete settings of the Ordinary of the Mass attributable to a single composer.  Composed around 1365, Machaut uses innovative rhythm and polyphony, rather than the customary plainchant.  In the Mass liturgy the items of the Ordinary are not performed consecutively but are separated from one another by prayers and chants.   Machaut’s unification of the Ordinary into an artistic whole was a forward-thinking, abstract artistic idea that assuredly influenced composers to continue setting the Ordinary to stylistically coherent music.

Ockeghem’s Missa Cuiusvis Toni, “mass in any mode,” is a four-voice setting of the Ordinary, freely composed (without the use of a cantus firmus or preexisting compositional material) and presented in a unique clefless notation.  Ockeghem simply provided a ‘sign’ on the line or space that represented the ‘final’ of the mode.  The combination of clefs selected by the performers would determine the pitch level and the mode of the performance. In this edition, by David Fallows, the Mass is presented at a pitch appropriate for the modern SATB choir (though the original would almost certainly been sung by a choir of adult men, ATTB) and sports a key signature of three flats, placing it solidly in the Phrygian mode.  But it could be in Dorian with a key signature of one flat.  Or Lydian with the addition of two sharps. Or Mixolydian with out a key signature at all.  One could consider the Missa cuiusvis toni as simply a mathematical exercise in musical complexity, a game, but each of its modal incarnations strikes a different mood.  A different emotion.   The mass is an intriguing theoretical puzzle but it is also a dichotomous representation of how key affects mood and even style; another example of a composer taking the Mass out of it’s liturgical cocoon and applying forward-thinking musical styles and theories to what could have become a tired and worn musical structure.

Fast-forward 400 years.  The mass is now as comfortable in the concert hall as it is in the church but Kalliwoda, a Bohemian composer and violinist, looks into the past instead.  Kalliwoda, who was Kapellmeister in Donaueschingen for Prince Karl Egon II of Fürstenberg, boasts an output that is mostly symphonic but his post did require that he write for the court’s church.  His Missa in a, probably composed after 1843, has no opus number and, though it uses romantic elements, was almost certainly intended for use in a Roman Catholic liturgical mass..

Fast-forward another 100 years to Leonard Bernstein’s Missa Brevis.   In 1955, Lillian Hellman asked Bernstein to write incidental music for The Lark, a play about Joan of Arc by Jean Anouilh that Hellman was translating from the French and adapting for the American stage.  Bernstein’s score was meant to represent the internal voices that encouraged Joan to lead her troops to victory at Orleans.  Noah Greenberg, the founder of New York Pro Musica, suggested that the music could be morphed into a powerful Missa Brevis. Thirty-three years later, in honor of Robert Shaw’s retirement in 1988, Bernstein finally followed his colleague’s suggestions.  The Sanctus from Missa Brevis is almost note-for-note the Sanctus that appeared in The Lark in 1955.

Twenty years after The Lark,  James MacMillan, a seventeen-year-old student, penned his own Missa Brevis.  In a 2007 interview with Rebecca Tavener, MacMillan says of the composition,

“I was hearing a lot of music and developing an early interest in    song and also early polyphony. The choir at school was singing Palestrina, Lassus and Byrd as well as J.S. Bach and Telemann, and it just sparked something in me, and I was writing lots of things, but the one piece I really enjoyed writing was this Missa Brevis. I was discovering lots of 20th century choral music as well, particularly music by Benjamin Britten and Kenneth Leighton … Listening back thirty years on for the first time, in some of these movements of the Missa Brevis, I can hear those influences, Britten and Leighton, and certainly something of the species counterpoint that I was trying to absorb as well: although it’s not Renaissance pastiche, it’s a form of archaic counterpoint given a modern flavour.”

Though MacMillan “tidied up” some of the movements, the Agnus Dei remains as it was written when he was seventeen.

Masstiche the Third

Kyrie- Gounod (1818-1893) – 2me Messe pour les societes chorales

Gloria – Grzegorz Gorczycki (1665-1734) – Missa Paschalis

Credo – Pierre Colin (fl. 1538-1572) – Missa Confitemini

Sanctus – William Byrd (c. 1539-1623) – Mass for 4 Voices

Agnus Dei – Barber (1910-1981) – String Quartet No. 1, Op. 11


In 1859 Gounod found operatic success with Faust.   That same year, he penned his most infamous composition, “Ave Maria,” a tune and text set over J.S. Bach’s “C major prelude” (BWV 846) and known the world over as that song they use when the mothers sit down.  Prior to his success on the stage, Gounod was choirmaster at Missions Etrangeres and believed he had a vocation for the priesthood, attending the lectures on theology at the Seminary of Saint-Sulpice. In 1848 he resigned his position as choirmaster.  In his autobiography he writes,

“For a composer, there is but one road to follow in order to make a name, and that is the theatre [the operatic stage]. The theatre is the place where one finds the opportunity and the way to speak every day to the public; it is a daily and permanent exposition opened to the musician. Religious music and the symphony are certainly of a higher order, abstractly considered, than dramatic music, but the opportunities and the means of making one’s self known along those lines are rare and appeal only to an intermittent public rather than to a regular public like that of the theatre. And then what an infinite variety for a dramatic author in the choice of subjects. What a field opened to fancy, to              imagination, and to romance. The theatre tempted me.”

Gounod’s religious music prior to his foray into the theater can be, broadly, stuffed into the stile antico pigeon-hole.  But Deuxième messe pour les sociétés chorales dates from 1862 and Gounod was, by then, completely immersed in stage music.  The Kyrie almost sounds like a soldiers’ chorus from one of Gounod’s operas, even using one of his favorite stage music conceits, rosalia (a complete melodic phrase that rises up degrees of the scale) to bring the Kyrie to a close.

Gorczycki is a notable figure in Polish music of the late Baroque period.  The earliest recorded information on any of Gorczycki’s works comes from 1694, but he must have written a substantial amount before he was appointed Kapellmeister in Krakow in 1698 in order to have gotten the job. However, none of his compositions were ever published during his lifetime and most have been lost.  Of the 39 works can be safely attributed to him are two masses; Missa paschalis is firmly rooted in the Polish baroque, which has more in common with Palestrina than it does with J.S. Bach, and was not published until 1839.

Pierre Colin is one of those unfortunate creatures of the Renaissance who has been historically confused with someone else and, therefore, sports a biography that is a scholarly disaster.  The best estimate is that he “flourished” from 1538 until 1572 in Autun, France.  The 26 masses now attributed to Colin are parody works based on material from his own motets and psalms, as well as from motets by Richafort, Certon and others.  Colin’s concern with textual clarity is paramount in all of his works. In the prologue to his Liturgicon musicarum, a collection of twelve masses. Colin wrote,

” …just as I have so arranged the matter that nothing harsh or forced is encountered here, but everything flows as it were of its own accord, so I have tempered the musical modulation in its modes so that not only each word of the sentence is clear, but so that anyone may easily hear even the complete sentences in such a way that the ears should be so affected by the charms of the voice that the soul may nonetheless be nourished by the very quintessence of the sense.”

It is fitting, then, that the Colin excerpt you’ll hear tonight is a Credo, the most text-heavy portion of the liturgy, from his mass Missa Confitemini.

In Elizabethan England, the awesome spaces of late Gothic architecture parallel the astonishing beauty and musical sophistication of late renaissance music; music that was both turbulent and serene, simultaneously echoing and transcending the bitter struggles between conflicting religious beliefs.  Living in this age of discord, William Byrd’s loyalties were divided; he and his wife were devout Catholics but he worked in a Protestant court and held positions in Anglican churches.  In 1588, after the sinking of the Spanish Armada, Byrd wrote a piece on a text by the queen, which thanked God for the defeat of the evil Catholic Spaniards.  The queen further contributed to Byrd’s career by granting a twenty-one year music printing monopoly to Byrd and Tallis, but Byrd was still Catholic and he was frequently cited as a recusant (absent from the Church of England).  Though Byrd was cited often, he was considered to be loyal to the crown and held in high esteem by the queen and by his noble patrons.  This esteem served to protect him from the harshest punishments and allowed him to freely continue composition of a Catholic variety.  Indeed, Byrd’s most subversive activities may have been in the context of his compositional choices. The Mass for Four Voices (1592-1593) was likely composed for liturgical use by Byrd’s fellow Catholics and performed under conditions of strict secrecy. These conditions are reflected in the work, which forgoes the florid settings of earlier Tudor masses in favor of clear imitative counterpoint.

Samuel Barber’s “Agnus Dei” is a choral arrangement of the composer’s “Adagio for Strings,” itself an arrangement for string orchestra of the second movement to the String Quartet, Opus 11, written in 1936. The “Adagio” has served to commemorate tragic occasions ever since, including the funerals of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Prince Rainier of Monaco, as well as the ceremony at the site of the World Trade Center following the catastrophic events of September 11, 2001. It’s resonance with the non-classical-concert-going public is cemented by its use in movies like Platoon and The Elephant Man.  Because of its power and popularity, Barber transcribed the “Adagio” for chorus in 1967 and paired it with the Agnus Dei text. Though it is not part of a larger mass, the Agnus Dei is a fitting end to the program.  In choosing his text, Barber brought to the surface the work’s inherent spiritual sense; the familiar yet intense music, heard as embraced by the voice, invokes a powerfully reverent state of mind.