Sacred Sunday: “Gloria,” from Leonard Bernstein’s Mass



This is such a bonkers piece in a way and I just love it.  It’s so very Broadway, with some serious “West Side Story” throwbacks from around 1:55 to 2:15; it’s got a very Latin vibe to it; and its various rhythms give it a colorful brightness that other stolid versions just don’t have.  It’s a good piece for today – Pentecost Sunday, the day that (according to the Bible) Jesus’s disciples received the Holy Spirit through wind and fire and baptized thousands of people.  In effect, it’s the day the Christian church was born.


3 thoughts on “Sacred Sunday: “Gloria,” from Leonard Bernstein’s Mass

  1. Sue Wade

    You probably know all this, but I had to google it: According to Leonard’s youngest daughter, “Written at the request of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, the work’s cultural importance became intertwined with its political significance in Richard Nixon’s Washington. The President did not attend the opening, but did send staff to rehearsals, who reported back that there were possibly ‘coded messages’ in the Latin text! While the work is certainly anti-war and calls on ‘you people of power’ to do what is right, it is not overtly political. It is unquestionably religious.”

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