For the CFAGO Spooktacular, I decided to write a new piece for organ. Unfortunately, I was not able to record the performance at the Chapel at the Towers, so instead I decided to attempt a recording tonight (10/31/2013) after the vigil Mass for All Saints was over at Holy Redeemer. Because the organ console is in a pit at the front of the church, I often have people come speak to me while I’m playing, and tonight was no exception (c. 3″ in tonight). I hope you enjoy the piece and can look past any bobbles I might have made from the distractions. Happy Halloween!
For many years when planning large multilingual diocesan celebrations, I felt Latin would be the best option for the Mass Ordinary. Because these special celebrations often are festive occasions where I had supplemental instrumental resources, using the traditional Latin chants always felt out of place, especially for the Gloria which follows so soon after what typically is a rousing entrance procession. Even though I love chant, the contrast between styles always seemed to make this hymn of praise more of a funeral dirge.
Finally, I took the time to write a more festive accompanied setting of the Latin text for the closing celebration of the Centennial of Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Kissimmee, Florida. While I may eventually do an SATB version and instrumental parts, the piece was first performed by on June 30, 2013 in unison by the combined choirs of Holy Redeemer. There is a congregational-friendly refrain and the verses are marked for women/men/all choral groupings but could just as easily be sung by a cantor alone.
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Written on April 16, 2014 for Chris Barletta and the Women’s Choir of Gateway High School in Kissimmee, Florida, with an expected first performance in May 2014. The students selected a poem by Emily Dickinson as the text that they wanted me to set for them. The Chariot begins “Because I Could Not Stop for Death” and is a somber piece that suggested a chromatic language to me. While there is four-part divisi, the piece remains homophonic and there are many passages in only two parts. The choir is supported by the piano with a brief unaccompanied passage. A video of the first performance can be seen here.