A Conversation for 'Mass: a Theatre Piece' by Leonard Bernstein

Sounds fascinating

Post 1


Makes me want to go out and buy it!

You mention the War Requiem, but it also sounds not entirely unlike A Child of Our Time, which incorporates the musical variety of Negro Spirituals, baroque oratorios and late 20th century music, and also employs symbolism to deal with large socio-political themes. And was composed during a time of war and violence (1939-41).

Sounds fascinating

Post 2

Bels - an incurable optimist. A1050986

It wouldn't be at all surprising if Child was one of the influences. Lenny must at least have had it at the back of his mind. But Child is not liturgical - the somewhat Eliotesque text is Tippett's own (and rather naff in parts). The spirituals, as you no doubt know, were to be the modern counterpart of the chorales in the Bach Passions (again, not liturgical). But of course it is certainly a cry of rage against war.

The parallel between Mass and War Requiem is much closer, not only in the mingling of liturgical and secular texts, but also in the theatrical presentation, the different groups on stage at different levels having their own symbolism.

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