Year of release: 2014
Medium: CD
Label: DUX
Number: 0964a
Performers: Polish Chamber Choir | 
Jan Łukaszewski – conductor

Missa Brevis


Polish Chamber Choir

Jan Łukaszewski – conductor

Missa Brevis (2012)
Benedicamus Domino

Recorded at the Krzysztof Penderecki European Music Centre in Lusławice in April 2013.

Krzysztof Penderecki’s Missa Brevis (a short Mass without the Credo ) has six sections written over the course of twenty years. Moreover, these sections were written in a different sequence than in the canonical order of the Latin Mass. Kyrie and Gloria, the first two sequences of the Mass, were written as late as 2012, i.e. at the end of the writing process. The third section, Benedicamus Domino was written in 1992. The fifth section, Benedictus, in 2002, while Sanctus, i.e. the fourth section which precedes the Benedictus in the liturgical order, was written in 2009, seven years after the Benedictus. Only the closing Agnus Dei of 2012 was written in the order corresponding to the Latin Mass. The sections of the Missa Brevis were not only written at different times, but also in different places: in Lusławice, in Cracow, in Lucerne, Switzerland, and even in Caracas, Venezuela.
Penderecki’s Missa Brevis is also “brief” in the literal sense, measured in minutes and seconds: it is 18 minutes and 39 seconds long. Kyrie (2:07), Gloria (3:19), Benedicamus Domino (3:01), Sanctus (1:49), Benedictus (3:13). Therefore, one can look at the Missa Brevis also as a collection of intricate musical miniatures of a cappella choir. It is amazing that, in spite of such a long time in which they were written, the style of all six sections is consistent and immediately recognisable as a work by Krzysztof Penderecki.

By Artur Matys