Commissioned by the National School Band Association with funds from the NSBA & the Riyadh Concert Band, saudi Arabia
Missa Brevis Pacem was commissioned by the National School Band Association and the Riyadh Concert Band of Saudi Arabia. The work has six sections: Kyrie, Gloria, Baritone Solo, Sanctus, Benedictus and Agnus Dei. The work lasts around 25 minutes and is structured in an arch shape with the Baritone Solo acting as the central emotional core of the music. The Mass begins and ends quietly, pivoting on the note E both times. The opening Kyrie is full of foreboding, with its middle Christe eleison suddenly faster and rhythmic. The Gloria is highly charged but joyful, ending in a blaze of G major. The Sanctus is majestic and centred on B flat (a tritone away from the opening E), but moves into a triumphant C major for the Osanna in excelsis. The Benedictus which follows unashamedly and unfolds a simple, expressive cantabile tune sung by a treble solo. The Agnus Dei returns to the unsettling atmosphere of the Kyrie with harsh brass fanfares before the final coda brings a serene conclusion to the work with the words Dona Nobis Pacem.