Thursday, May 26, 2011

Will Todd, and his "Mass in Blue"

Some days ago, I found on Youtube an amazing Jazz Mass, composed by Will Todd. I share with you some information of this great work, obtained directly from the website of the british composer. I hope you enjoy it!

Will Todd's Mass in Blue, an upbeat setting of the latin mass, is a brilliant blend of driving jazz grooves and clear, strong, choral writing against which the solo piano and solo soprano voice weave and blend in a delightful aural tapestry. The work reflects not only the composer's love of jazz music and his admiration of jazz performers, but also his own experience as an improviser. Mass in Blue was commissioned by David Temple and the Hertfordshire Chorus in 2003 and premiered in July 2003 under the title Jazz Mass at the Cambridge Corn Exchange, with soprano Bethany Halliday, the Blue Planet Orchestra, Will Todd on piano and conducted by David Temple. Subsequently revised and retitled for performances in 2004 at the Barbican Centre in London and in Durham Cathedral, by 2007 it had received almost 50 performances in the UK, Europe and beyond. It has firmly entered the choral repertoire and has been enjoyed by choirs young and old, large and small. Mass in Blue has been recorded twice - by Hertfordshire Chorus on their own label, and more recently by the Vasari Singers for Signum Classics.
"I had a brilliant time - really enjoyed the whole experience. Thanks to all concerned." -- Chris Gay, alto (Bristol)
"My thanks again on behalf of those [members of Aylesbury Festival Choir] who attended on Saturday for a wonderfully exhilarating day's singing and for all the hard work that went into organising it." -- Jan Roffe, Aylesbury Festival Choir.
"A fantastic workshop in Cambridge last Saturday - stimulating, interesting and most enjoyable." -- Tom Cox, bass (Cambridge)
"I and several of my friends enjoyed a most stimulating and enjoyable singing workshop with Ralph Woodward in Cambridge recently. I had already familiarised myself with Will Todd’s “Mass in Blue” from the recording but this was nothing in comparison with the experience of learning the work as a singer. I have been listening to the work constantly ever since and continue to derive much pleasure from this exciting and original work. To rehearse and perform the Mass in Blue with Will Todd and his trio and soloist Bethany Halliday was definitely the high spot of my year as a singer – an altogether uplifting and worthwhile experience which I thoroughly recommend ." -- Helen Bush, alto (Cambridge)

Will Todd's official website: