Missa Brevis

Chorus of the University of Utah and brass from the Utah Symphony conducted by Newell Weight

Here’s another curio from New World’s ongoing project to reissue the back catalogue of the sadly discontinued Composers Recordings Inc. (CRI): a harmonically eclectic setting of the mass for chorus and brass composed by Vladimir Ussachevsky, who today is remembered almost exclusively for his work from the early days of electronic music. Composed between 1971 and 1972 in fulfillment of a BMI commission during a residency at the University of Utah, Ussachevsky’s completely acoustic Missa Brevis reveals another dimension of this timbral pioneer—a composer completely comfortable in a tonal but harmonically eclectic idiom.

—FJO