USMC Schola Cantorum Presents: Polychoral Mass in D
ST. MICHAEL’S COLLEGE AND MUSICIANS IN ORDINARY
CELEBRATE MICHAELMAS WITH 18TH CENTURY MEXICAN MASS
PART OF MAJOR CONFERENCE ON 500 YEARS OF THE REFORMATION
The performance of a 18th century Mexican mass discovered in the 1990s celebrates St. Michael’s Day, Friday, September 29, 8 p.m. at St. Basil’s Church, University of Toronto, 50 St. Joseph Street at Bay.
Admission is free, but donations are welcomed. Information is available by calling 416-926-7148 or visiting www.musiciansinordinary.ca.
The Schola Cantorum of St. Michael’s College directed by Michael O’Connor is joined by The Musicians In Ordinary, led by violinist Christopher Verrette to perform the Polychoral Mass in D by Ignacio de Jerusalem (born Ignazio Gerusalemme, 1707-1769), an Italian-born composer who became an important figure in Mexican Baroque music. Jerusalem is known for modernizing Mexican music to the latest standards.
The Mass score was discovered in an uncatalogued collection of what appeared to be 18th century music in a Los Angeles Catholic church in 1992. The few missing parts to the score were completed the following year by American composer Craig H. Russell.
Contrasting with the glory of the choir, strings, trumpets and tympani of the Mass, the contemplative plainchant for the Feast of St. Michael will be heard in its proper place between the movements. Also featured will be a symphony by Jerusalem and lively villancicos, Spanish language devotional songs.
The players will include Boris Medicky, organ; Julia Seager Scott, harp; and John Edwards, baroque guitar. (Harp and guitar were popularly used for accompaniment in the theatre in Jerusalem’s time, demonstrating the kind of modernizing influence of secular music that Jerusalem’s superiors at the Cathedral resisted.)
September 29 is the actual feast day of the archangel Michael, who is revered by the Jewish, Christian and Islamic faiths. Amongst Christians, he is the patron saint of the sick, mariners, paratroopers, police and grocers.
The performance ties in with the Global Reformations Conference, presented by the University of Toronto’s Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, September 27-30 at Victoria College. The event is the largest of its type in Canada to mark the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. It is also unusual in that it focuses not only on Christianity but also on cross-cultural and interfaith dynamics of the Reformation – exploring intersections and disruptions with Judaism, Islam and other faiths, and the effects on history, the arts and culture in general.