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Bernstein: Mass

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Audio CD, October 28, 1997
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Disc 1:

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. I. Devotions before Mass: 1. Antiphon: Kyrie eleison (Voice) 1:58$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. 2. Hymn and Psalm: "A Simple Song" (Voice) 4:42$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. 3. Responsory: Alleluia (Voice) 1:07$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. II. First Introit (Rondo): 1. Prefatory Prayers (Voice) 5:13$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. 2. Thrice-Triple Canon: Dominus vobiscum (Voice)0:35$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. III. Second Introit: 1. In nomine Patris (Voice) 2:00$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. 2. Prayer for the congregation (Chorale: "Almighty Father") (Voice) 1:30$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. 3. Epiphany (Voice)0:53$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. IV. Confession: 1. Confiteor (Voice) 2:22$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. 2. Trope: "I Don't Know" (Voice) 1:37$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. 3. Trope: "Easy" (Voice) 5:20$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. V. Meditation No. 1 (Voice) 5:09$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. VI. Gloria: 1. Gloria tibi (Voice) 1:48$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. 2. Gloria in excelsis (Voice) 1:13$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen15. 3. Trope: "Half of the People" (Voice)0:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen16. 4. Trope: "Thank You" (Voice) 2:45$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen17. VII. Meditation No. 2 (Voice) 3:56$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen18. VIII. Epistle: "The Word Of The Lord" (Voice) 5:47$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen19. IX. Gospel-Sermon: "God Said" (Voice) 4:59$0.99  Buy MP3 

Disc 2:

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. X. Credo: 1. Credo in unum Deum (Voice) 1:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. 2. Trope: "Non Credo" (Voice) 2:15$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. 3. Trope: "Hurry" (Voice) 1:19$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. 4. Trope: "World Without End" (Voice) 1:43$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. 5. Trope: "I Believe in God" (Voice) 2:00$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. XI. Meditation No. 3 (De profundis, part 1) (Voice) 2:58$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. XII. Offertory (De profundis, part 2) (Voice) 2:00$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. XIII. The Lord's Prayer: 1. Our Father... (Voice) 1:47$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. 2. Trope: "I Go On" (Voice) 2:34$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. XIV. Sanctus (Voice) 5:14$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. XV. Agnus Dei (Voice) 7:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. XVI. Fraction: "Things Get Broken" (Voice)14:20$2.97  Buy MP3 
listen13. XVII. Pax: Communion ("Secret Songs") (Voice) 9:49$0.99  Buy MP3 

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A musician of unparalleled versatility, Leonard Bernstein achieved worldwide renown in a career spanning nearly five decades - as an inspiring conductor and teacher, as a wide-ranging composer and author, as a gifted pianist.

As composer, he created a body of works extraordinarily diverse in form and style: for example, three symphonies (Jeremiah, The Age of Anxiety and Kaddish) the ... Read more in Amazon's Leonard Bernstein Store

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Product Details

  • Performer: Norman Scribner Choir, Berkshire Boy Choir
  • Conductor: Leonard Bernstein
  • Composer: Leonard Bernstein
  • Audio CD (October 28, 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B0000029XM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #43,794 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

While critics at the 1971 premiere found the work derivative and even tasteless, audiences loved this ardent, resourceful, somewhat brazen, ultimately moving Theatre Piece for Singers, Players, and Dancers. Leonard Bernstein's affinity for his public and for the age in which he lived enabled him to successfully outfit his Mass with a stylish mix of contemporary and ancient modes--rock, jazz, electronic music, Gregorian chant--and place it in a context somewhere between Broadway and opera. Though it lacks the visual component of a live performance, the work holds up well on this Bernstein-led recording, the only complete version on disc. From the popular "Simple Song" to the Stravinskian rhythmic devices and abundant, memorable melodies, the vital creative force of Bernstein is never absent. --David Vernier

Customer Reviews

If you buy this, I hope you will enjoy it, too.
Meganwind Eoyang
Those who like classical, jazz, blues, rock & roll, and just plain fun songs will find at least one piece to listen to again and again.
When listening to 'God Said...', there is total amazement to how true everything is that is depicted in this song.
Debra Joslin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

95 of 96 people found the following review helpful By ewomack TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 30, 2004
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The most important thing to remember before listening to this piece by Leonard Bernstein is that it is not a "Mass" in the traditional sense. Sure, it has a Kyrie, a Gloria, a Credo, a Sanctus, and an Agnus Dei, but there's much much more going on.
"Mass" is described a "A Theater Piece for Singers" and thinking of the work in this light elucidates much of the structure of this recording. For example, the "Things Get Broken" segment on Disc 2 (one of the more controversial parts of "Mass") seems overly drawn out when listening to it on CD. The reason this seems so is because there is a lot theatrically going on. The focus of this segment is more on theater than music, and so it's less exciting musically (it's still a great segment, though).
Judging from what's been written about this work, this recording of "Mass" is the only complete recording available right now. It includes the original cast and is conducted by Berstein himself. Someone had foresight.
It's easier to listen to this work as a theater piece. Sections of a traditional mass are interspersed with solos (by singers with titles such as "Rock Singer", "Blues Singer", "An Older Man", "A Young Girl") that usually function as commentary or embellishment to the traditional religious setting. The best example of this is during the "Confession". Following the singing of a more or less traditional Catholic confessional (complete in Latin and English), the Rock and Blues Singers provide their own unique perspectives.
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73 of 75 people found the following review helpful By Edward D. Morris on December 21, 1999
Format: Audio CD
I was a very fortunate lad of 13 and singing in the Berkshire Boys Choir in the summer of 1971 when some of us were told that we were to go to Wash. DC to sing with Lenny Bernstein. Most of us knew who he was but really didn't feel the significance of it. After the first rehearsel(which Ted Kennedy and family attended) we understood. Mr Bernstein was a marvel.He had so much energy and somehow knew exactly how things should be. The work itself is a grand scheme.With pit orchestra, stage brass,woodwinds,and rock bands, mixed choir,boy choir,street singers and the Alvin Ailey dancers; the stage logistics were enormous.Then there is the music: starting with quad tape in a kind of serial vocal colage' going straight into a "simple" folk tune. Musical genres of every kind follow;folk,scat,blues,12 tone,plain chant. Only a master of composition on the order of Bernstein could/would attempt such a thing. The storyline of wrestling with faith is a powerful and relational experience. Everyone goes through it(for most of our lives). We all finally come to the point where we have to talk to god with a "secret song". Bernstein knew these issues of faith all too well.And so do you. Being a oringinal cast member, I disqualify myself as a reviewer. Needless to say it was the greatest experience of my life. It changed my life the way few pieces can.
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45 of 48 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 27, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Leonard Bernstein has never recieved the recognition he deserves as a composer. He is known by his weaker music; namely, his broadway scores, like West Side Story and On the Town. His MASS strikes most listeners as being wierd. Those who have actually listened to it usually come to the conclusion that it is an expression of Bernstein's disdain for Catholicism. Allow me to obliterate both of these notions for you. What it really is is the story of the celebrant; he is an island of piety in the midst of a agitated and doubtful congregaion. He manages to keep things more or less together through the first hour and a half or so, but when disgruntled members of the congregation begin to throw accusations at God, he finally suffers a crisis of faith himself, during the hair-raising 'Trope: Things Get Broken.' He dissapears from the scene. The congregation is left to try and worship without him. After a rather awkward beginning, the entire congegation ultimately ends up singing, in a gorgeous canon (that's a round), and reaffirming their faith. At this point the celebrant rejoins them, reaffirming his faith as well. Then, they all (including the stage orchestra) sing a beautiful, contemplative chorale that is a prayer.
Some of the music may not be for everyone, but its profoundly moving message of reconcilliation is certainly one that is for everyone.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By kelsie VINE VOICE on February 19, 2005
Format: Audio CD
'MASS' is nothing less than MASSively magnificent, and it is Bernstein at his best, both as a composer and as a conductor.

One of the important distinctions to make about this piece is that it is NOT a Mass as Mozart's Great C Minor Mass or Bach's Mass in B Minor are. Those pieces set the text with no additions or commentary. They are concert pieces. This MASS, however, is a theater piece that uses the timeless text of the Roman Ordo Missae along with other lyrics, to tell a story.

Bernstein composed MASS for the opening of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., and was assured that cost would not be a factor in the writing of the dedicatory piece. As a result, Lenny allowed his imagination to roam freely, and the product of that imagination is the overflowing of talent that is MASS.

Some commentators (Christians) have dismissed this work as vulgar or blasphemous, and, from a certain standpoint, the piece can certainly be viewed that way. However, as a Christian myself, it has been important to approach this piece open-mindedly. It is, in every possible sense of the word, a masterpiece.

Bernstein effortlessly blends diverse and sometimes antithetical musical styles throughout the work, from the pealing dissonance of the opening Kyrie, played over a quadrophonic tape, to the simple, Bach-chorale type quality of the final chorus. In between are sections in blues, rock, and skat styles.

The piece alternates religious severity, as evoked by the Latin texts, with tongue-in-the-cheek irreverence and sarcasm in the English commentaries and chorales.

There are two recordings of MASS in the catalog. Kent Nagano, with the Berliner Philharmoniker, attempted the piece recently.
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