Notes & Reviews:
Ralf Yusuf Gawlick's bold and original "Mass for the Human Race" Missa Gentis Humanæ blends the Latin Mass Ordinary with passages from Borges, Virgil, Brecht, Zbigniew Herbert, Dostoevsky, Plautus, Walter Scott and the Gospel According to St. John - in an 8-voice a cappella setting, recorded by select voices from the celebrated Choir of Trinity Wall Street, conducted by Julian Wachner. This work juxtaposes diverse multilingual texts, illustrating the global human element of faith, with roots in the past and its future illuminated through contemporary experience. Recorded in the famous acoustics of Church of the Redeemer, Chestnut Hill, MA, where many Musica Omnia releases have been made. Booklet includes a comprehensive "listener's guide" of texts, transliteration and easy-to-follow English translation.
American Record Guide, March/April 2015
Missa Gentis Humanae is an a cappella mass for eight voices, and Gawlick follows the relatively recent path for masses - mixing in other texts. He uses his wife's name to determine pitches, and in the Introit the choir hums those notes, then sings them in Hebrew letters and then in Greek. Christ's "new commandment" to love one another as He has loved us is sung in Greek and then Latin, and that leads to an "alleluia" and into the Kyrie. Jorge Luis Borges, Virgil, Brecht, Zbigniew Herbert, Dostoevsky, and Walter Scott have their words, in their original languages, sewn into the fabric. The mass is skillfully written, reverent, completely without artifice, and quite effective. The choir is flawless, and the sound is clear. Easy-on-the-ears modern choral music has a place - a challenging, sometimes exacting work of greatness.
Recording information: Church of the Redeemer, Chestnut Hill, MA (02/16/2014-02/18/2014).
Submitted on 08/27/14 by Dan Coombs
Works DetailsGawlick, Ralf Yusif : Missa gentis humanæ, for double chorus, Op. 16
- Conductor: Julian Wachner
- Ensemble: Choir of Trinity Wall Street
- Notes: Church of the Redeemer, Chestnut Hill, MA (02/16/2014-02/18/2014)
- Running Time: 51 min. 36 sec.
- Period Time: Contemporary