Gloria Through The Ages

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Sunday, August 07, 2011

For centuries, composers have been inspired by the Biblical text, "Glory to God in the highest." In this week’s episode, Kent Tritle serves as your guide through 700 years of Gloria settings. Among the exhilarating works heard this week are Bach's Mass in B Minor and Beethoven's Missa Solemnis

"Glory in excelsis Deo" is considered one of the most uplifting sacred texts, and Bach's Gloria from the Mass in B Minor could not be more fitting. Trumpets, timpani, full chorus and orchestra are all forefront in the movement, embellishing the text with musical fireworks. Following in Bach's footsteps, Beethoven and Haydn composed their Gloria settings in the same bright and joyous key of D major. Additionally, both composers employ brilliant trumpet fanfares with riveting choral and orchestral writing, bringing to life this sacred text of praise.
Fast forwarding to the 21st century, we hear Gloria settings by composers Arvo Pärt and Nico Muhly. While the style of writing and orchestration differs from those of the classical era, they posses the same exuberant, colorful qualities embodied in the preceding works.
With 700 years of music represented this week, there are many other stops on our journey. Beginning in the Renaissance with Machaut and Victoria, we also visit the 19th and 20th centuries with Dvorak's Mass in D, and Poulenc's Mass in G.

Playlist (in alphabetical order by composer):

Mass in B minor, Gloria
Netherlands Chamber Choir Orchestra of the 18th Century
Frans Brűggen
Live Recording Utrecht

Missa Solemnis, Gloria
La Chapelle Royale
Orchestre des Champs Elysees
Phillipe Herreweghe

Mass in D, Gloria
Christ Church, Oxford
Simon Preston

Lord Nelson Mass, Gloria
Trinity Choir and Rebel Orchestra
Owen Burdick
Ann Hoyt, Soprano

Messe De Notre Dame, Gloria
The Hilliard Ensemble
Paul Hillier

Gloria Mass of Bright Canons
St. Thomas Choir NYC
John Scott

Gloria Berliner Mass
Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Tallinn Chamber Orchestra
Tonu Kaljuste

Mass in G, Gloria
Westminster Cathedral Choir
James O’Donnell

Gloria O Quam Glorioso
Westminster Cathedral Choir
David Hill

Comments [5]

Gary from Manhattan NYC

Even to me, a secular humanist, The "Gloria" from the Mass in B Minor is a glimpse of the divine. Awesome, in the classic sense of the word.

Aug. 09 2011 07:51 AM

Is there a rationale behind the FCC's regulation?
I'm trying to come up with a reason, and I can't find a plausible answer.

Aug. 08 2011 01:36 PM

WQXR doesn't publish playlists prior to broadcasts, it's an FCC regulation. However, for The Choral Mix, we're able to post the playlists out of sequence. Thanks for listening!

Aug. 08 2011 11:18 AM
Joanna Gardner from Clayton, GA

I agree 100% with the previous comment. By not listing the pieces in the order played, It makes it painstakingly difficult to look up what one is listening to to get the details!

Aug. 07 2011 11:35 PM

Why not just put the list of pieces in the order in which they are played?
The listing makes no sense whatsoever.
Who's running this website? Some IT Geek, with a 3rd grade musical education?

Aug. 07 2011 09:22 PM

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