DAMIJAN MOČNIK (b.1967): Missa Sancti Francisci Assisiensis for Chorus, Strings and Percussion (String ensemble from the Royal College of Music, Stockholm, Anders Åstrand [percussion]), Missa Sancti Jacobi for Chorus and Percussion (Henrik Ståhlberg [percussion]), Acclamtio and ... et lux perpetua for Chorus.
Catalogue Number: 09T078
Description: Very approachable liturgical music with a lively, 'popular' touch. The distinguishing feature of the two full Mass settings is their joyous vitality; these are 'celebrations' of the Mass which, for better or worse, avoid a good deal of the traditional solemnity associated with such works. The composer's harmonic idiom is very tonal, with a polymodal feel, and his melodies are straightforward and memorable, often suggesting plainchant; his more conventional choral textures, especially in the three a cappella pieces, broadly occupy a world reminiscent of S-D Sandström or Łukaszewski. The St Francis of Assisi Mass incorporates a lively percussion part, including a drum kit, and the percussionist performs improvised introductions to each movement; the music's rhythmic drive and modal melodies suggests a kind of folk or folk-rock Mass. The St Jacob Mass restricts the accompaniment to a triangle, which sounds like altar bells at key moments, and a drum which lends a ritualistic aspect to the piece's exultant energy. S:t Jacobs Chamber Choir; Gary Graden.