Bluegrass Mass broadcasts on Thanksgiving Day

belovedFor readers who embrace the spiritual side of the Thanksgiving Day holiday in the United States, here’s a fine suggestion to add to your family ritual.

WXXI, a public radio station in Rochester, NY, will broadcast a recording of The World Beloved: A Bluegrass Mass at noon eastern time on November 27. Despite its title, this isn’t really a bluegrass work, but a modern classical piece that mixes sacred choral music with a bluegrass ensemble.

The history of classical music includes a rich tradition of compositions that follow the basic Roman Catholic liturgy of the Mass. Starting with the somber Gregorian chant in the 7th century, though brilliant compositions from Bach to Beethoven, Mozart to Liszt, and on into the contemporary music world, this familiar format involves writing music for the primary prayers of the Mass: Kyrie, Gloria, Creed, Benediction, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei.

In The World Beloved, composer Carol Barnett combines the prayers outlined above with additional songs and refrains, scored for a chamber chorus supported by banjo, mandolin, violin, guitar and string bass.

The performance to be featured on Thanksgiving was recorded at Rochester’s Third Presbyterian Church in November 2013.

It can be heard in Rochester on 91.5 FM, and via online streaming.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.