Among Stravinsky's religious choral works, the Mass sits in between the more robust Symphony of Psalms and the later, more esoteric serial compositions. He had come across some Mozart masses in a second-hand bookstore in Los Angeles; "as I played through these rococo-operatic sweets-of-sin, I knew I had to write a Mass of my own, but a real one." That is, he intended to compose a Roman Catholic mass for actual church use. Stravinsky also wrote: "Religious music without religion is almost always vulgar."
This programme note can be reproduced free of charge in concert programmes with a credit to Boosey & Hawkes/Joseph Horowitz.
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