St. John the Divine, stained glass

The Cuban Mass

 

Enrique Ubieta, Composer

Enrique Ubieta

 

 

 

 

"The Cuban Mass" is a serious work inspired by Cuban folk music. It is by no means a work of popular music, as are other contemporary folk masses. The com- poser has carefully developed all the musical elements to obtain a high degree of aesthetic stylization within the genre. Any compositional change on this work will therefore improperly affect the musical values and in- tegrity of this composition. Since its premiere in 1973, The Cuban Mass has had many performances throughout the USA and abroad; influencing, in time, with its innovative and fresh ideas on other works, such as Jackson Berkey's Arma Lucis (1988).

 

Note:"The Cuban Mass" is the correct title of this work, and, consequently it is copyrighted as such. The definite article is part of the title because this mass is the only internationally known Cuban liturgical work of its kind.

 
 
 

Click here to listen to The Cuban Mass as performed by the Bach Choir of Pittsburgh conducted by Brady Allred.

           
Composition parts:
Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Santo, Agnus Dei, and Aleluya
Total duration:
20 minutes
Text source:
Spanish and English texts, in the Roman Lithurgical tradition.
Soloists required:
1 Soprano, 1 Contralto or Mezzo, and 1 Tenor
Choral forces required:
S-A-T-B
Instrumentation:






























Symphony Orchestra score:

2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, and 2 bassoons; 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, and tuba; timpani and percussion (2 players); harp and piano; violins I and II, violas, cellos, and contrabasses.
 

*Vocal/Piano/Percussion score:

Soprano, Tenor and Alto; Choir (SATB), Piano, and Percussion (2 players).

*This version has been performed many times since 1975, being the most widely recognized in temples, universities, and concert halls, at home and abroad.
 
 
Vocal and instrumental difficulties:
None
World Premiere:
Winter 1973 at the Episcopal Cathedral of St. John the Divine
Publications:

 

 

The Cuban Mass Walton Music Publication

Vocal and piano scores published in 1975 by Walton Music: Full Score (M-128) and Kyrie and Aleluya score for solo choir (#2301). Both scores distributed by Hal Leonard

Orchestra material available on rental from Boosey & Hawkes

 

Commercial Recording:
 
 
 
Levande Ton album
 

Kyrie and Aleluya were recorded in 1984 by the Levande Ton Choir, an excellent vocal group from Sweden, conducted by Thore Kennestad. Note: The rhythmic accompaniment in a Cuban dance style that appears in this recording was performed by the recognized Cuban pianist, Bebo Valdés, and two typical percussionists. The composer learned of this "rhythmical" recorded version two years after its release.)

   
Performances:
             
October 24-25, 1998 by the:

 

Bach Choir of Pittsburgh

Brady Allred, conductor

Under the direction of Dr. Brady Allred.

A NON-COMMERCIAL live CD recording of the complete

work was made by the Bach Choir of Pittsburgh in 1998.


Westchester Philharmonic

Dunkel

 

January 23, 1999 by the Westchester Philharmonic under the direction of Paul Lustig Dunkel, its Musical Director and Conductor.

 


 

 Festival

At the Skinnskatteberg Festival, Sweden, 17-19 June 1994

 Ollen

Bengt Ollen, Conductor

Skoglund

Sung by soprano, Annika Skoglund

Annika Listén

Annika Listén, together with

 Ostberg

Caroline Ostberg, who danced the choreographed version of The Cuban Mass at the Skinnskatteberg Festival.


 

SDG logo

Berkey

Almeda Berkey, Music Director of the Soli Deo Gloria Cantorum, together with Jackson Berkey performed The Cuban Mass,

September 26, 1993.


University of California, San Diego

University of California, San Diego

La Jolla Symphony and Chorus

La Jolla Symphony & Chorus

Director: David Chase

Guest conductor: Xiomara Di Maio

December 4 & 5, 1993


On April 4, 2004, The Cuban Mass was performed in USA by the Palomar Chamber Singers from the Palomar College Performing Arts Department under the direction of Dr. David Chase.

On Saturday, July 3, 2004, The Cuban Mass was performed in Denmark by the Tritonus Choir of Denmark under the direction of renowned conductor and composer JOHN HØYBYE

 

Some available reviews:

"The Westchester Philharmonic, Americas Vocal Ensemble and Chorus of the Americas all joined forces

for a rousing rendition of the 'Kyrie,' 'Sanctus' and 'Alleluia' from Enrique Ubieta's inspirational 'Cuban Mass.'

-Francis Brancaleone

The Journal News

The Journal News

January 28, 1999

 

 


 

"The Cuban Mass shows exquisite taste in matching Cuban styles to the text of the liturgy.

One of the most impressive sections was the 'Santo' based on music of blacks in Cuba.

And the conga Ubieta employs for the 'Aleluya' made for a truly joyous conclusion.

The first rate vocal soloists were soprano Cynthia Harding, mezzo-soprano Daphne Anderson and tenor Mathew Pittman.

The composer was on hand to take a bow for this Pittsburgh premiere."

-Mark Kanny

 

Pittsburgh Post Gazzette

Pittsburgh Post-Gazzette

October 26, 1998

rom

f"The [Florilegium Chamber] choir sang a bright, exotic Kyrie and Aleluya from Mr. Ubieta's [The]'Cuban Mass'..."

-Allan Kozinn

New York Times

The New York Times

June 16, 1989


 

"The Kyrie and Aleluya from Ubieta's 'The Cuban Mass' closed the program with much percussive fanfare and choral spirit."

-Susan Elliott

New York Post

New York Post review of Florilegium Chamber Choir's performance at Merkin Hall.

June 15, 1989

 

January 28, 1999

 

"The Cuban Mass shows exquisite taste in matching Cuban styles to the text of the liturgy. One of the most impressive sections was the 'Santo' based on music of blacks in Cuba. And the conga Ubieta employs for the 'Aleluya' made for a truly joyous conclusion. The first rate vocal soloists were soprano Cynthia Harding, mezzo-soprano Daphne Anderson and tenor Mathew Pittman. The composer was on hand to take a bow for this Pittsburgh premiere."

-Mark Kanny

Pittsburgh Post-Gazzette

October 26, 1998