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Composed by Robin Nelson
Series Editor: Simon Carrington
Voicing: SSATBB a cappella
Catalog number: AMP 5022
This Missa Brevis was written for my adult community choir and a liturgical performance in the beautiful Basilica of Santa Croce in Florence, part of our tour of Tuscany. The priest's written instructions were very specific as to which movements he required and the appropriate timings of each movement: they were indeed “brevis” and other mass settings I had considered using were not going to be to his liking. I therefore set about writing a setting which matched his requirements.
Singing Mass in a foreign country with nods and finger indications from an official for each sung section to commence can be a stressful experience, but I am glad to say that the Priest was all smiles at the end and kept a copy in the vestry, perhaps with a future performance in mind. Bearing in mind that the timings have been kept to a minimum, perhaps the best advice I can offer regarding performing the Mass is to relax, to give the music some breathing spaces and enjoy!
I am delighted to welcome composer Robin Nelson to my series. We have known each other for nigh on 50 years since student days in Cambridge, and I have always admired his multi–faceted skills as composer, conductor and teacher. His Missa Brevis should appeal to church, community and college choirs alike: tuneful, inventive, economical and a delight to sing.
The online recording is the Kyrie from Missa Brevis.
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