Roman Maciejewski

Works in detail

The Mass of Resurrection

Although we can find several religious choral works in Maciejewski’s catalogue, The Mass of Resurrection, written in 1967, is a unique composition in this group. This is because of its artistic quality (it uses a more complex musical language than e.g. Missa Brevis) and external motivation – the death of Roman Maciejewski’s father.

The mass, written for four-voice mixed choir and organ, consists of the following parts: 1. Kyrie; 2. Gloria; 3. Credo; 4. Sanctus; 5. Agnus Dei. Significantly, the text used in it is in English (Kyrie, Sanctus and Agnus Dei contain the liturgical text, while Gloria and Credo – an English translation of the Polish version of the text).

The piece has an arch-based structure, the harmony is set in the major-minor system, although Maciejewski is more courageous than in his other religious works (with the exception of the Requiem) in using chromaticism and sometimes even enharmony. He also pays attention to the link between words and music, for example by stressing the meaning of some words.

The Mass of Resurrection is an interesting religious work which might be of interest to amateur and professional choral ensembles. It gives them an opportunity to present their interpretative as well as strictly technical skills, for example in episodes with a polyphonic texture. The composition was performed for the first time in June 1967 and Maciejewski later mentioned in letters to his family that the singers liked it a lot.