Janacek’s Glagolitic Mass, so-named as it uses a ninth century text written in Old Church Slavonic, is also known as the Slavonic Mass. Rather than a traditional sacred piece, Janacek is thought to have conceived his mass as a celebration of Slavic culture and the pan-Slavic movement that he supported.
The Glagolitic Mass was first performed in Brno, Czechoslovakia, in April 1926. It is a highly original work for choir, organ and orchestra that expresses dramatic energy and tenderness in equal measure, and is recognised today as one of most significant contributions to choral music in the twentieth century.
Poulenc’s Gloria is a joyful rendering of the Gloria text from the Catholic Mass, and one of Poulenc’s most celebrated works. Scored for soprano, choir and large orchestra, it was composed in 1959 and first performed in 1961 in Boston to critical acclaim. Poulenc was known for composing music of sharp contrasts and his Gloria, which is jocund as well as solemn, is no exception.
Always Moving On is a brand new work for choir and orchestra, written by newcomer Christopher Ashley. An eight-minute orchestral march of aspiration and healing, it provides a modern twist to the familiar and popular format pioneered by Elgar and Walton in the early 20th century. The piece gives expression to the timeless virtues of hope, joy, patience and tolerance, offering respite from uncertainty and gloom.