Has anyone ever heard the Martin Mass for Double Choir in a liturgical setting?
  • Just curious. That would be a dream.
  • Toronto Oratory, pretty sure.
    Pizzetti Requiem, too, last year for All Souls! Talk about a dream!
  • I sang in the choir when it was done for the pontifical mass at the Sacra Liturgia Conference in New York in 2015. Maestro David Hughes (CMAA board member) conducted. An unforgettable experience.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • BruceL
    Posts: 1,060
    The UT-Austin Concert Chorale sang it for a Missa Cantata at St. Mary Cathedral in Austin. Maybe in 2007 or 2008? I was a grad student at UT then. Fr. Robert Bradley, SJ (RIP), was the celebrant, and chant was led by Brooks Whitmore (who I believe is on here!)
  • Westminster Cathedral in London. They’ve also recorded it on the Hyperion label
  • It is on my calendar at some point in the next two years.
  • Palestrina
    Posts: 338
    It's a lovely piece of music, but the last time I looked at it, I couldn't help but think it didn't belong in a liturgical setting at all... It simply didn't score well for me against Inter Sollicitudines.

    Let's also remember that the composer was a Calvinist with no understanding or experience of the Catholic context, and who wrote the work as a personal, private devotion, never intending its performance in any context, let alone a liturgical (Catholic) one.
  • Palestrina -
    I am unfamiliar with the work in question here. However, in reference to your comment one would hasten to add that being a Calvinist does not in itself mean that a profoundly liturgical music cannot be composed by a non-Catholic. Ralph Vaughan Williams is another outstanding example: one could not ask for a more beautiful, liturgically appropriate mass which is unquestionably ecclesiastical and ritualistic in its conception. Vaughan Williams not only was not Catholic, but was an atheist. Objectively, a Calvinist may make a similar offering. Many of our best hymns are German chorales written by the Lutheran Paul Gerhardt and others (even Luther himself!). Composers past and present who give us unquestionably profound liturgical music, and who just happen to be Anglican, are producing liturgical music that far, very far, outshines the greater part of what most Catholic musicians are pawning off on us. God can use, and has through the centuries used, a great variety of people of many backgrounds to further his work and to grace his worship. God really does love everybody and will use them as he sees fit.

    I am reminded of an old tale, which may or may not be apocryphal, about a priest on the battlefield during WWI. As he was praying over the unfortunate dead, he came to one whose friend said 'Oh, you needn't do that, father, he didn't believe in God' - to which the priest said 'well, he does now'. All will meet God when they die and it is he who will be their judge, not us - whether they were Catholic or not.

    Otherwise, your assertion that this particular mass, like Beethoven's Solemnis, is not apt for liturgical use may or may not be correct - insofar as I am unfamiliar with it and can't offer a competent assessment - but, judging from the experiences of above commentators it would seem likely that it is.
    Thanked by 2Elmar Schönbergian
  • Let's also remember that the composer was a Calvinist with no understanding or experience of the Catholic context, and who wrote the work as a personal, private devotion, never intending its performance in any context, let alone a liturgical (Catholic) one.

    Frank Martin was one of the most ecumenical Calvinists I've ever seen and his Mass, though admittedly not my favourite, has nothing of Calvinism in it.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • rich_enough
    Posts: 873
    Martin's Mass "worked" for the liturgy at the conference I attended because the people there knew what to expect and were in a position to pray with the music.

    Like John Paul II having Mozart's Coronation Mas sung at St. Peter's with Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic, I think we can "bend the rules" once in a while for special occasions.
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • Palestrina
    Posts: 338
    MJO, take your point entirely... but let's not forget that RVW had Sir Richard Terry breathing down his neck as he composed his 'Mass in G Minor' - which to my mind is the pre-emiment setting of the 20th century. Martin wrote in a vacuum... It's lovely a cappella music, but have a listen and you'll see immediately why I don't think it belongs in the Roman Rite.
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • I've had a listen, and I don't hear anything musically objectionable. It's on the longer side for a NO Mass and that's about it.

    Would you mind sharing specific points about the work with which you take issue, beyond the denomination of the composer?
  • sdtalley3sdtalley3
    Posts: 212
    As far as I can tell, the Church never objected to the religious beliefs of an individual composer, They’ve commissioned many people outside of Catholicism to write masses for whatever the occasion based solely on their musical capabilities.
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • BruceL
    Posts: 1,060
    I mean, Martin would be a little rough in an OF Mass, but I don't follow the critique for a performance during an EF Missa Cantata/Solemnis.
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 1,332
    You would think that some of the largest masses, such as the Bach b minor would be totally unsuitable for liturgical use. However, that mass was used at Emeritus Benedict's YOUTH mass in Austria. A choir of teenagers sang it.