The Bottom Line
If you're looking for something not so "mainstream", these two modern works are anything but modern sounding. Menotti's operatic Missa has been rightfully compared to Verdi's Requiem, while Vierne's Messe Solennelle has been compared to Faure's Requiem. Both works exhibit passion and beauty, and, although contrasting in style, compare in intensity and color. You may have to listen to the album several times before fully appreciating the music. If you're in a calm, reflective mood, listen to Vierne's Messe Solennelle. If you're in an intense, excited mood, listen to Menotti's Missa.
- Works by relatively unknown composers
- Lacks the perfection of the great Romantic composers
- Released: October 2006
- 1 Disk, 10 Tracks
- Total Play Time: 72:47
Guide Review - William Ferris Chorale - Menotti & Vierne
Having been awarded two Pulitzer Prizes, the New York Drama Circle Critic's Award, and the Kennedy Center Honor for Achievement in the Arts, Menotti has earned the respect of critics and audiences alike. Most known for his works including The Counsul, Anahl and the Night Visitors, The Saint of Bleecker Street, and The Medium, Menotti's Missa "O Pulchritudo" embodies and embraces his famous operatic style of composition. Although it has taken me several listening for this work to finally grow on me, I find this work to be similar to Beethoven's Missa Solemnis and Verdi's Requiem - enjoyable, but not something you'd want to to listen to on a regular basis. Menotti's passion for music and works text is apparent throughout the work, as I was completely moved by several passages of music. Louis Vierne's Messe Solennelle, Op. 16, has been called the "triumphant counterpart" to Faure's Requeim. Although I find it hard to compare the two works, there are some similarities. It's a beautiful piece of music, much lighter than Menotti's Missa "O Pulchritudo". Opening with a sweeping organ passage, Messa Solennelle was composed to showcase the instruments and acoustics of Notre Dame.