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Pagan Mass

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Audio CD, February 26, 2002
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Product Details

  • Performer: Annie Kim, Renee Sonsa, Kira Vollman, David Kress
  • Orchestra: LACG Chamber Orchestra
  • Conductor: Harry Manfredini
  • Audio CD (February 26, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Centaur
  • Run Time: 47 minutes
  • ASIN: B000060P71
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,227,947 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Homo Eleison
2. Gloria In Profundis
3. Lumen Et Spiritus
4. Credo In Vitam Perpetuam
5. Non Sperantibus In Ecclesiam
6. Memoriam Venerantes
7. Offerre
8. Communicantes
9. Benedictus

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By phonolite on September 11, 2008
Schroeder: Pagan Mass. (Guide to Records).
American Record Guide, by Lindsay Koob

With his Pagan Mass, Pierre Schroeder celebrates humanity as opposed to divinity. The piece is essentially spiritual, if neither liturgically true nor conventionally sacred. The recurring themes include the divine spark in all of us, our cultural diversity and how we achieve worldly immortality--both collectively and by ourselves: the eternal cycle of earthly life and how the best of us manage to enrich posterity with our creative gifts.

This is not so much a choral work as a heady collage of disparate choral, orchestral, solo vocal, spoken, percussive, and synthesized elements, artfully juxtaposed and blended into a coherent and listenable whole. The glue holding the whole thing together is the composer's work at the synthesizer, which apparently produces all keyboard passages, most of the choral effects (no chorus is credited) and sampled sounds including spoken dialog and crowd noises.

High points for me included the Credo in Vitam Perpetuam, a skillfully assembled evocation of life as a perpetual cycle. Based on the way we measure time, it is built on a 24-bar theme repeated seven times, with mesmerizing effect. Non sperantibus in Ecclesiam (Not hoping in the Church), is guaranteed to raise the hackles of Christian musicians, as it dismisses organized religion with a harsh musical satire of sacred convention: a serene Gregorian chant that slowly transmutes into a militant march, complete with ceremonial bells and drums--then ends with the bleak and empty sounds of the wind.
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