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Mass in Space

By Gregg Smith

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SATB choir divisi, SATB soli, piano - Advanced
Composed by Gregg Smith. Multi-Movement/Large Choral Work. 21st Century. Laurendale Associates #CH-1285. Published by Laurendale Associates (MN.CH-1285).

Item Number: MN.CH-1285

Multiple Choirs. The Mass in Space was begun in the early 1980s and premiered March 12,1983 at Saint Peter's Church in NYC. After many years of following Charles Ives' dictum concerning spatial music (Place sound forces in space according to the structure of the music) in the Gregg Smith Singers' programming, Gregg decided to write a larger work completely devoted to spatial techniques. Writing music for space has one major problem: rhythmic togetherness. A couple of modern techniques and aleatoric devices and free rhythms are ideal for solving some of the problems, especially for performers at some distance from the conductor. Throughout the Mass, the chorus on stage and the piano are the set unit, while the performers in back/balcony have greater rhythmic freedom. All six movementsKyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus-Hosanna, Benetictus-Hosanna and Agnus Dei pursue a different spatial aspect.The Gregg Smith Singers have performed excerpts from Mass in Space all across the US on several national tours, and in Russia in 1995 for the St. Petersburg International Spring Festival of Contemporary Music. In a subsequent tour of Northern France, GSS was challenged and thrilled to sing it in the Riems Cathedral and in the huge Amiens Cathedral. Wherever it has been performed, audience reaction has been overwhelmingly good.

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