Thursday, 16 September 2010

MacMillan Mass Setting

I’ve just enjoyed the Papal Mass from Glasgow and was really anticipating enjoying the Mass parts by Macmillan. I have to say I was disappointed. The Gloria seemed to meander with little sense of purpose as did the Sanctus, Memorial Acclamation and the Agnus Dei.

Many people have denigrated the Mass settings of Paul Inwood and others. The MacMillan setting didn't make me think I could use this in my Parish. Neither did I think his music was head and shoulders above other contemporary Liturgical composers, as many have said. Who am to say this I hear you say ? I have been a choirmaster and organist for 25 years, I have a B Mus degree and a knowledge of the music and Liturgy of the Catholic Church.

My highlight of the Mass has been the offertory setting by Noel Donnelly. It was prayerful and suited it's purpose. I Look forward to other Liturgies, but sorry James, I can’t recall any phrase of the Mass setting . . . . to be fair though, after being advised to listen to the above recording on Youtube I have felt a litle more positive about it, though the way some of the words are set feels a little awkward, rather like Handel's setting of "All we like Sheep." Let's see if it's still as popular in 30 years time as the Coventry Mass setting of Inwood and the Gloria of Peter Jones.


Kevin Vogt said...

I didn't have the pleasure of being present in Glasgow for the Papal Mass today, but have been eagerly scanning the internet for weeks in search an audio "glimpse" of the MacMillan Newman Mass. Until today, I was able to hear only some electronic rehearsal recordings, but the melodies of the Gloria and Sanctus have haunted me for weeks. Finally, today I found the Motherwell Diocesan Choir recordings on YouTube. I can't speak of the live experience today, but I have found at least the Gloria and Sanctus to be highly memorable and compelling. This is certainly not "instant" music, but it certainly has held my rapt attention for weeks.
~Another contemplative Catholic

Contemplative Catholic said...

thanks for that Kevin. I'll have a look at the youtube recordings

Anonymous said...

"Let's see if it's still as popular in 30 years time as the Coventry Mass setting of Inwood and the Gloria of Peter Jones." - with the new translation of the Order of Mass, neither of these will be around in 30 years.

cathli musician said...

I don't think that's true anonymous, they are being reworked as we speak and will be re-released in an ammended form

Contemplative Catholic said...

thanks for that cathli musician !