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Percussion mass : for SATB chorus and percussion quartet

by Paul Sarcich (1991)

Score Sample

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Audio Sample

Performance by Choir of St Francis Church, Melbourne, Atrax Robustus Percussion Ensemble, Paul Sarcich from the CD Compositions and arrangements. Disk 3

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Compositions and arrangements. Disk 3


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Compositions and arrangements. Disk 3 / Paul Sarcich.

Library shelf no. CD 880 [Available for loan]

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Work Overview

Percussion Mass was written because Roger Heagny, former Director of Music at St. Francis Church, Lonsdale St., once said "Wouldn't it be great to have a Mass accompanied by just percussion?" The idea fermented for over a year before the piece became reality and was given its first performance at the Feast of Corpus Christi at St. Francis in 1992.

Performing a piece such as this as an actual Liturgy did shock a few people on that occasion, but most welcomed it as something very new in its approach and appeal.

It is unusual in its demands on the performers too - few choirs have the experience of working solely with percussion and must adapt their ears to the sounds of the percussion instruments in order to find their pitch, rather than relying on piano or organ as is usually the case.

The Mass is set in the original Latin (although greatly abridged in the Credo), and rather than being founded in theology takes emotion as the basis for each movement.

Work Details

Year: 1991

Instrumentation: SATB choir, percussion quartet.

Duration: 23 min.

Difficulty: Medium — Requires medium large choir, advanced student percussionists

Contents note: I. Kyrie -- II. Gloria -- III. Credo -- IV. Sanctus -- V. Agnus Dei.

First performance: 1992. Feast of Corpus Christi at St. Francis, Melbourne


Program note: Paul Sarcich's "Percussion mass"
program note by the composer


Performances of this work

1992: Feast of Corpus Christi at St. Francis, Melbourne

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