The Albemarle Chorale, a continuing education class of College of The Albemarle, will present two spring concerts entitled “The Mass: From Cathedral to Concert Hall.”
The first will be held April 27 at Edenton United Methodist Church and the second will be at First United Methodist Church in Elizabeth City on May 4. Both are at 4 p.m.
Admission is free for both concerts, but donations are appreciated. For more information call 426-5022.
According to Lynwood Winslow, the Chorale director, the mass has evolved for a variety of reasons. “Early composers started with a chant. But as music developed, they wanted to use new abilities and styles.
These changes would be introduced and used until a pope or an archbishop would say, ‘This is too secular-sounding, or it’s taking up too much time.”
Some new styles were banned from liturgical settings. This is because new styles take time to be accepted. Often what was rejected earlier will be accepted later.
“This lag time is becoming less today because of technology and advances in it.”
Masses are now also composed to commemorate events such “Kyrie from Memorial” by Rene Clausen. This mass was composed as a response to the 9-11 tragedy. It combines the traditional Greek words with both English and Hebrew texts. Another mass, “Missa Brevis” by Zoltan Kodaly, was written to express the turmoil and emotional suffering of WWII as well as the hope for a much better future at the end of it all. This selection has strange harmonies and melodic lines according to Winslow. “It’s different than works from the 18th and 19th Centuries. And yet it has wonderful moments of building tension which resolve into a beautiful melody or a beautiful chord.”
Those selections plus more traditional ones by Mendelssohn, Mozart, and Brahms will round out the concert. All together they will show, according to Winslow, that the “mass has meaning that can transfer into other settings … touch someone … be meaningful in a different way. It is just beautiful music.”