Setting of Catholic Mass (E)
Choral level of difficulty: 1 (5 greatest)
The movements set are Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus and Benedictus (together), Acclamation and Agnus Dei. With the inclusion of a Gloria this is a more extended setting than the St Anne’s Mass, and the cantor or choir have an integral part which alternates with the congregational part. Sometimes this involves singing the congregation’s phrase before they sing it themselves. In the Gloria, MacMillan cleverly gives the congregation only one phrase to sing throughout, which is the initial one repeated at key points. It is a novel way of setting the Gloria and is certainly effective, underlining the joyful nature of the text. The choral parts are simple (only the Kyrie and Gloria have harmony). The Sanctus and Benedictus, Acclamations and Agnus Dei are all in unison until the very end where MacMillan writes a brief choral ending for the Dona nobis pacem (which is given in English first).
Repertoire note by Paul Spicer