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2014 G is for Gloria

St James Church, King Street, Sydney
12 October 2014

Click on the image to view the souvenir program

John Rutter conducted the world premiere of his Gloria on his first visit to the United States in May 1974; three movements of joy, uplifting power and energy. Soaring vocal lines and contemporary harmonies create seventeen minutes of utter bliss. Forty years later the Leichhardt Espresso Chorus commissioned Australian composer Dan Walker to create a work to sit beside this that reflects the choral sounds of our own era. Dan is one of Australia’s rising choral talents and this is his first large-scale choral work. In response, Dan wrote Mass of Deliverance.

Dan Walker is famous for his mastery of vocal lines and beautiful choral sound and this Mass was much anticipated. The world premiere at St James Church in October 2014 was sold-out. 

Dan Walker

LEC's Artistic Director, Michelle, Leonard introduced the concert as follows:
It is not uncommon for a composer to take an aspect of the Latin “ordinary” mass and set it to music on its own – Bach certainly did – but it was more popular in the eighteenth century and Rutter would have known many of these works when he first sat down to write his Gloria. What is unique about his setting however is the sheer rhythmic joy in the outer movements and the more contemporary stylistic feel overall. This is often associated with American music, particularly the music of Bernstein. In the outer movements Rutter builds up ascending brass choral fanfares like the pealing of bells – or pits the consort against the choir in West Side Story fashion to great effect. Counterbalancing this is the inner sanctum of the middle movement, which showcases the colours of the organ and male voices in a movement of great stillness and beauty. The way both our composers treat the performing ensemble makes for an aural feast – both seek to fully explore the textural capacity of brass and percussion with SATB choir accompanied by either piano or organ. The legacy of composers from Monteverdi to the present day who have written for this combination is reflected in part in their musical choices, but I feel both seek to create a sound world that is uniquely their own.

Artistic Director: Michelle Leonard
Composer: Dan Walker
Orchestra: Sydney Brass led by Paul Goodchild
Organist: Alistair Nelson
Rehearsal Accompanist: Ben Burton

        Sydney Brass