Great Catholic Works of Music Written for Mass in English
  • What are they?

    Nothing borrowed from the Anglican tradition. We have had 50 years. Where and what are they?
  • Nil .
  • Well, not exactly nil. Do you mean "great" as in sublime or just very well-crafted?

    There is. for example, Anton Heiller's "English Mass" (Summy-Birchard). This work has just been recorded by the Seraphim Singers and will be released sometime in the near future. There is also the "Mass to Honor St. Cecilia" by Hermann Schroeder (Summy-Birchard) and the "Mass in the Major Modes" by Russell Woollen (also Summy-Birchard). Portions of all these works can be found in the out of print "Hymns, Psalms and Spiritual Canticles." And let's not forget Theodore Marier's settings such as #46 (Holy, Holy, Holy) in the same hymnal.

    Be forewarned, however, not every Catholic choir or congregation should attempt these.
  • Correction: The Seraphim Singers recorded Heiller's "Deutche Messe" not his "English Mass."
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,615
    It depends what you're looking for... If you're looking for English-Palestrina, you're likely going to be disappointed.
  • I have always admired the work of Heiller and Schroeder, but was not aware of these masses. It is nice to know about them. Still, though, there are no offerings of this calibre by Americans. (I would gladly be enlightened by correction!)
  • Some of Leo Nestor's works approach "masterwork" status, IMO. I would also love to have the time to explore some of Thomas McAvoy's catalogue.
    I speculate that the hermeneutic of rupture between composers who happen to be "Roman Catholic" and any interest they would have (outside of commissions) in writing for ritual use is a big factor. Take, for example, the very large ritual output of jazz composer Dave Brubeck. Very little of it aligns well with normative NO parish praxis, even if one were predisposed to his unique styles.
    One could also debate Pendercki's liturgical pieces as, at the least, not exclusively concert oriented. Still, 99% of PIPs couldn't last 5 minutes and focus on his music.
    The fruits of Benedict will be seen in a few decades of this new century, I trust.
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    I would second Nestor. Other than that, I agree with M. Jackson. There simply isn't any of note.
  • redsox1
    Posts: 192
    I would "third" Leo Nestor.