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Norwegian composer Ståle Kleiberg (b.1958) blends together traditional Mass elements with three new texts by the English writer Jessica Gordon, each of which expresses loss: of home- land, of a child, and ultimately of faith and hope in the future. The question he poses himself is whether faith is still possible in the modern world. A fine choir and orchestra inch their way, thoughtfully and with pleasingly sustained ambiguity, towards the conclusion that yes, it is, but in a fragile and embattled way. Most contemporary Mass settings simply use contemporary stylistic elements. This fine work explores the very basis of belief and comes out affirmatively and with loss at least partially redeemed.

BRIAN MORTON Read the full review on Agora Classica


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