Dr. Horst Buchholz’ Mass of St. Francis

This morning I had the joy of cantoring the Mass of St Francis for the first time.

There’s always a learning curve with a new ordinary, but this one was actually easy to learn and very rewarding. At the same time simple and sophisticated, it followed the contours and complexities of the texts beautifully. The Gloria in particular was impressive, climbing the iterations of praise. Praise, bless, and the second syllable of adore are each held for a dotted quarter, and then at the high point, the first syllable of glorify is held for a full half note. It’s a subtle but very effective climax.

When singing of the Second Person of the Trinity, the setting drops to the relative minor. This happens in both in the Lord Jesus Christ section of the Gloria and the Blessed is He section of the Holy, Holy, Holy. The effect is a solemn recollection of the wonders of the Word made flesh.

It’s a great pleasure to sing liturgical music that is so thoughtfully crafted!

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