Movement 1: Kyrie eleison
Movement 2a: Gloria
Movement 2b: Domine Deus
Movement 2c: Quoniam tu solus sanctus
Movement 3a: Credo in unum Deum
Movement 3b: Deum de Deo
Movement 3c: Crucifixus
Movement 3d: Credo in Spiritum Sanctum
Movement 4: Sanctus
Movement 5: Agnus Dei
The diversity and resourcefulness of vocal scoring throughout are striking. The declamatory supplication of the Kyrie is both eternal and modern in its added-note richness, while the sotto voce keening that ends the movement is shockingly potent. The dancing, glistening opening of the Gloria owes as much to rock music in its syncopated canonic build-up as it does to any older polyphonic tradition, the dramatic antiphonal exchanges at ‘Domine Deus’ have an ancient, hieratic quality and the return of a more outgoing music at ‘Quoniam tu solus’ reaches a climax of near-hysterical joy before bell-tone pedal notes herald a melismatic series of Amens.
The pulsing clusters that open the Credo are a powerful symbol of the urgency of belief. A mosaic of varied textures follows—joyful quasi-Baroque roulades, chant-inflected canons over open-fifth drones (a haunting moment of stasis), anguished overlapping chromatic sighs at ‘passus est’; and the pointillist, off-beat figure at ‘Crucifixus’ is both a graphic representation of the driving-in of nails and at the same time built into a groove-based ostinato. The movement ends with a soaring pan-consonant choral carillon, repeated over and over again, while another group of voices whispers the final lines of the text with ever-increasing fervour. The brief Sanctus begins with an awed hush and concludes with exultant ‘swung’ Hosannas and a final chord that is deliciously unexpected. The Agnus Dei achieves no easy resolution, the uncertainty of its final bars unwinding into a Post-Communion where long-breathed vocalise underpins an ad lib spoken prayer (in this instance the ‘Actus caritatis’). The effect is both theatrical and numinous, as the public face of the music slowly dissolves into inwardness and deep repose.
‘Music and love explain everything’, says Ugis Praulinš, with characteristic generosity and optimism.
from notes by Gabriel Jackson © 2010