Full scores & videos. By 1960 Dirksen had participated in Easter services at the Cathedral for 15 years and knew the forces intimately. This grand Mass features exceptionally brilliant writing for the brass and timpani, ground-breaking mixed meters (13/8 notoriously raised the choir’s eyebrows), and in the Agnus Dei some of his spookiest writing for the organ. It’s also noteworthy that two movements of a Mass in E major end on F# (Kyrie, Benedictus). That uncanny whole-tone lift comes a shock each time but prefigures the Gloria’s triumphant final modal cadence from D to E. He also orchestrated it for double wind quartet after the Stravinsky Mass.
D No: 331
Text - Author or Scripture: 1928 texts
Performing Forces: SATB org brass timp
Date Published: HWG 64
Date of Composition: 1960
Dedication: The Rev. Francis B. Sayre, Jr.
Notes: A Festival Service for Easter, SATB, organ, 2 trumpets, 2 trombones, timpani; dedicated to Francis B. Sayre, Jr. A revision of this service in Rite II was created in 1987 and MS score and parts exist in the cathedral library. In 1964 this mass was scored for 2 obs., Eng. hn., 2 clarinets in A, 2 hns, 2 bsns, 2 trums., 3 troms., and timpani, the instrumentation of the Stravinsky Mass which was on the same spring concert programmed in the cathedral by the glee clubs of the cathedral schools that year.
Audio of Kyrie, Sanctus & Agnus Dei, live performance Easter Day 1971. Gloria is from the 1967 WCC at Westminster Abbey recording.
Categorized as: 300 Canticles & Liturgies Published Works
Tagged as: brass, Easter, Eucharist setting, liturgy, organ, SATB