Mass of the Children by John Rutter
Liner notes to the Naxos (2006) recording of Mass of the Children, Shadows, & Wedding Canticle by John Rutter, state that the work was written late in 2002 and was first performed in February 2003 at Carnegie Hall. Rutter, writing of his inspiration for the work, says, “The seed of the work probably lay in the inspiring experience I had back in 1963 singing as a member of the boys choir in the first recording of
Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem. The effect of combining children’s and adult’s voices is unique, and I wanted to write a work that would bring them together in a more joyful context than a Requiem.” He goes on to say that he based the structure on the Missa Brevis but added a number of English texts to it that are sung by the soloists or the children.
The work runs about 35 minutes and is scored for mixed choir, children’s choir, soprano and baritone soloists, chamber ensemble and organ. The Chamber Choir’s performances with the Raleigh Boychoir will take place Saturday, April 6 at Hayes Barton United Methodist Church in Raleigh and Sunday, April 7 at Duke Chapel, Durham.