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Mass of the Children

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Mass of the Children was written in late 2002 and early 2003. The occasion of its first performance in February 2003 was a concert in New York’s Carnegie Hall involving children’s choir, adult choir, soprano and baritone soloists, and orchestra. I had always wanted to write a work combining children’s choir with adult performers, not only because I find the sound of children’s voices irresistible but also because I wanted to repay a debt. As a boy soprano in my school choir I had been thrilled whenever our choir took part in adult works with children’s choir parts, such as the Mahler Third Symphony and the Britten War Requiem, and years later I remembered this experience and wanted to write something that would give children a similar opportunity to perform alongside adult professionals.

The text of Mass of the Children is that of a standard Latin Missa brevis (that is, a Mass not including a Credo section) to which several relevant English poetic texts have been added. The first and last of these are taken from Bishop Thomas Ken’s renowned morning and evening hymns for the scholars of Winchester College, giving the whole work the framework of a complete day, from waking to sleeping, within which other texts and moods appear like events in that day or landmarks in a life.

from notes by John Rutter © 2003


Rutter: Mass of the Children & other sacred music
COLCD129Download only


Movement 1: Kyrie  Awake my soul, and with the sun
Track 1 on COLCD129 [7'25] Download only
Movement 2: Gloria
Track 2 on COLCD129 [7'25] Download only
Movement 3: Sanctus and Benedictus
Track 3 on COLCD129 [7'08] Download only
Movement 4: Agnus Dei
Track 4 on COLCD129 [5'57] Download only
Movement 5: Finale: Dona nobis pacem  Lord, open thou mine eyes that I may see thee
Track 5 on COLCD129 [8'55] Download only

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