Missa Cor Inflammatus (2007)
Instrumentation: SSAATTBB a cappella choir
Premiere Performance: 4/20/2008 - Western Michigan University Chorale Concert - Dr. Karl Schrock, conductor - St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Parish - Portage, MI
V. Agnus Dei
Throughout history, composers have been drawn to the text of the Ordinary Mass for its inherent rhythmic structures derived from the pronunciation of the text as well as its distinctive formal structure. While tonal in nature and deriving influence from the Renaissance period, this setting of the Mass combines elements of traditional harmony and motivic development with chromaticism and tonal clusters.
While the intent is that the work be performed in its entirety, it is divided into four distinct sections rather than the conventional six movements. The Gloria and Sanctus are extractable. In fact, in the first international performance of Missa Cor Inflammatus, only the Gloria and Sanctus movements were performed.
Kyrie movements often have a structure that reflects the succinctness and symmetry of the text. Many have a ternary (ABA) form, where the two appearances of the phrase "Kyrie eleison" are comprised of identical or closely related material and frame a contrasting "Christe eleison" section. While there are certainly elements of symmetry in this setting, the phrases “Kyrie eleison” and “Christe eleison” were combined so that the setting becomes more organic than ternary in form and segues directly into the Gloria.
The Gloria is a celebratory passage praising God and Christ. The Gloria incorporates ostinatos, canonic elements, and tonal clusters. The pronunciation of the text often dictates the rhythmic structure in this movement. Polyphony becomes more important in the Credo movement of this setting in order to combine large sections of text, while the Sanctus is a more atmospheric exploration of various sonorities. The Agnus Dei concludes the Mass with repetitions of the word "pacem," evoking peace and solitude.