Chihara / Curtis-Smith
Liner Notes   Cat. No. NWCRL409     Release Date: 2017-08-15
Chorus of the New England Conservatory; Lorna Cooke deVaron, Conductor; UCLA Men's Glee Club; Don Weiss, Conductor; William Albright, organ

Paul Chihara writes:

"The Kyrie to Missa Carminum Brevis was composed in November of 1972. The idea of combining popular with liturgical music was consistent with other compositional experiments I was involved with at the time: namely, that of transforming seemingly disparate musical materials into strange and new configurations, much as in dreaming or in reverie. I was pleased with the results of the Kyrie, and decided to complete the Mass, using a different folk song as cantus firmus in each movement, while combining it with the Gregorian incipits from the Missa Deus Genitor Alme, whose well known melodies run like sinews through the body of the work...

“The Magnificat was composed in Berlin in 1965 while I was on a post-doctoral Fulbright Fellowship, studying choral composition with Ernest Pepping. The Gregorian hymn Ave Maria in the Dorian Mode underlies the textures of the six-part women's chorus.

“The Ave Maria & Scarborough Fair (composed in September, 1971) was my first project combining two cantus firmi whose texts are juxtaposed as commentaries on each other. The two songs, both in the Dorian Mode, are love songs, one sacred and the other secular. Like the Magnificat written 6 years earlier, the Ave Maria & Scarborough Fair is scored for six-part non-mixed chorus.”

Curtis Curtis-Smith writes:

“In writing for the organ, I sensed the need for greater rhythmic momentum than in any other medium. Since any true dynamic inflection, accent or crescendo is virtually impossible, other means must be used to achieve forward momentum. This momentum, I felt, had to come through rhythmic vitality. Thus, while a preeminent concern for color has been apparent in much of my work heretofore, in Masquerades, rhythmic momentum is of greater importance than are coloristic elements. This was a direct response on my part to the characteristics of the organ as I perceived them. Indeed, the instrument itself shaped the nature of my musical ideas...


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We have preserved the original CRI LP catalog number for this title, preceded by the prefix NWCRL, to distinguish previously unavailable back catalog titles from those later reissued by CRI on compact disc.

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Various Artists

Chihara / Curtis-Smith

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WAV $9.99
CD $12.99

Track Listing

Missa Carminum Brevis: I. Kyrie "Sally Gardens"
Paul Chihara
Buy
Missa Carminum Brevis: II. Benedictus "The Houlihan"
Paul Chihara
Buy
Missa Carminum Brevis: III. Agnus Dei "I Once Loved a Boy"
Paul Chihara
Buy
Magnificat
Paul Chihara
Buy
Ave Maria-Scarborough Fair
Paul Chihara
Buy
Masquerades: I. Nun Komm, der Heiden Heiland "Palindrome"
Curtis Curtis-Smith
Buy
Masquerades: II. Trio "Heterophonic Palindrome"
Curtis Curtis-Smith
Buy
Masquerades: III. Wie Lieblich ist doch Herr, die Stätte "Jig for an Elephant"
Curtis Curtis-Smith
Buy
Masquerades: IV. Bagpypes
Curtis Curtis-Smith
Buy
Masquerades: V. In dulci jubilo "Like a Carrousel"
Curtis Curtis-Smith
Buy
Masquerades: VI. Scherzo "Jig for the Feet"
Curtis Curtis-Smith
Buy
Masquerades: VII. Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland: Parody "Palindrome"
Curtis Curtis-Smith
Buy