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Conductor: Kristjan Jarvi
Tonkunstler Orchestra
'Sine Nomine' Chorus Company Of Music
Tolzer Boys’ Choir
Randall Scarlata, baritone



One of his most controversial compositions, Bernstein’s Mass was written at the request of Jacqueline Kennedy Onnassis for the opening of the John F.Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC and received its gala premiere at the venue’s opening on 8 September 1971.

Bernstein declared that his intention in writing the piece had been ‘to communicate as directly and universally as I can a reaffirmation of faith.’ Recalling Britten’s War Requiem in its use of Catholic liturgical text interrupted with commentary, the work caused a storm of controversy particularly with its exploration of the concerns of the era – Nixon and Vietnam.

‘Bernstein left nothing of himself out of Mass, and like the man who wrote it, the piece demands to be noticed… beneath the original dramatic conception, the creative exuberance, the showbiz glitter and the ear-catching set numbers is a sophisticated, carefully controlled piece of musical craftsmanship that repays close scrutiny… an extravagant, exuberant and endlessly inventive creation…’ --New York Times

Mass is now recognised as one of the central works of Twentieth Century American music, and its political and cultural importance as well as amazing music extends its relevance to today.



'The conductor Kristjan Järvi is bringing a bracing blast of Bernstein'
The Times

'There has not been this much drama for a long time… conductor Kristjan Järvi, together with his Absolute Ensemble New York, the Tonkünstler-Orchester, Chorus sine nomine, Company of Music and the Tölzer Boys’ Choir, presents the theme of modern man’s crisis of faith…'
Der Standard

'Kristjan Järvi proves himself a perfect strategist with a real feeling for Bernstein’s tonal dramatisation. He creates a monumental theatre of sound…'
Kronen Zeitung

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