Leonard Bernstein composed Mass for the opening of the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, and commissioned by Kennedy’s widow, Jacqueline Kennedy. It was controversial at the time, taking the form of a Roman Catholic mass and interweaving new texts from Bernstein, Stephen Schwarz and even Paul Simon. Mass, a gigantic theatrical work, is an amalgamation of musical styles, from rock to blues to atonal. Jubilant Sykes, Grammy-nominated for his recording of Bernstein’s Mass with the Baltimore Symphony, is singing the role of Celebrant in the Louisville Orchestra‘s performance, with Teddy Abrams conducting, this Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 3pm. Both stopped by Classical 90.5 to talk with Daniel Gilliam about this complex and challenging work.
(Related: listen to a panel discussion on Bernstein’s Mass, moderated by Daniel Gilliam, with panelists Teddy Abrams, Cantor David Lipp and Father David Sanchez. Presented by the Center for Interfaith Relations and the Louisville Orchestra)