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Missa Solemnis

By Serge Lancen

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Concert Band - Grade 5
Composed by Serge Lancen. Latin Songs/Classical Songs and Oratoria/Sacred Music/Mixed Choir and Band. Classic Arrangement. Recorded on Missa Solemnis (ML.311028720). Full set. Duration 37 minutes, 10 seconds. Molenaar Edition #011964110. Published by Molenaar Edition (ML.011964110).

Item Number: ML.011964110

This Mass has been dedicated to His Holyness Pope John Paul II, to witness Lancens deep and respectful admiration for the Holy Father. The work was composed in 1986 and written for two solo voices: a soprano and a baryton-Martin (high baritone), mixed choir, harp (ad libitum) and symphonic band or organ. It has ten parts: INTROIT - KYRIE - GLORIA - OFFERTORIUM - SANCTUS - PATER NOSTER - AGNUS DEI - COMMUNIO - DEO GRATIAS - and as final part an ALLELUIA. Lancen expressed his views about this Mass as follows: 'The most important aspect of the Mass is the praising of God and the sacrificing to God; that is why I thought it suitable to use both the themes of the Sanctus and the Offertorium in writing the Introitus. It seemed to me also quite logical that the initial themes of the Kyrie and the Agnus Dei would be rather similar as these are two moments where the priest and the worshippers invoke God. The composition ends with a brilliant Alleluia in which I also briefly quote the theme of the Sanctus.' This Mass was premiered on 27 may 1989 at 'Our Lady's Church' in Maastricht, The Netherlands, as part of the celebrations of the fiftieth anniversary of the Roman Catholic Band Federation of the Limburg County. The Bishop Castermans celebrated the Mass, whereas Jan Cober conducted this first performance. The Missa Solemnis is an alternation of meditating, though often impressive, orchestral passages with angelical choral sounds and the pious singing of both soloists. This may not be the type of music we usually expect from Serge Lancen, but nevertheless the composer remains faithful to his own typical style of composition. You can call this work romantic, though it surely is 'contemporary' or, why not, 'from all times'. The instrumentation is varied and extremely rich, mostly due to Lancen's typical use of 'wind band colours'. This Latin Mass suits perfectly well in the tradition of Roman-Catholic Masses that have been written by several great composers.

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