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"Mass for Double Choir" by Frank Martin


During my (James) senior year at Wheaton College, I was introduced to what is now my favorite 20th century choral work: the 'Mass for Double Choir' by Swiss composer Frank Martin. From a Huguenot family, Martin wrote many musical works and I was taught that he kept this mass private for many years, as it was a personal devotional experience. Unlike many 20th century works, the 'Mass for Double Choir' does not abandon tonality, rather, as I like to write music, walk the fine line between tonality and atonality.

The Credo of this choral mass is particularly powerful, as it adds musical expression and passion to statements which many congregations tend to recite in a laundry-list monotone. The Credo inspired me to make a video (below) with translated subtitles and relevant imagery. If the video is not showing below, click here. This mass would be a wonderful devotional as we bring Holy Week of 2020 to a close.

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