Saturday, March 3, 2018

A Simple Song

Leonard Bernstein’s Mass was commissioned to inaugurate the John F. Kennedy Center in 1971 as a national showcase for the performing arts in Washington, DC. Bernstein, although Jewish by tradition, stated he had always been fascinated by Catholic ritual, which he deemed dramatic and even theatrical, and “always wanted to compose a service of one sort or another,” especially an ecumenical one “that would combine elements from various religions and sects of ancient or tribal beliefs, but it never came together in my mind until Jacqueline Onassis asked me to write a piece dedicated to her late husband.” In Mass, Bernstein attempted to universalize the Catholic ritual in order to explore the spiritual crisis of our time. "A Simple Song" is the introductory movement to the Mass. (Source: Austin Symphonic Band)

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