Press Release: Woolf Mass Premiere
THE CHOIR OF ST. JAMES CATHEDRAL PREMIERES
WOOLF’S MISSA IN FINES ORBIS TERRAE
The Choir of St. James Cathedral will be singing the premiere of Missa in Fines Orbis Terrae,
for Choir and Organ, by Montreal composer Luna Pearl Woolf at the 11am Eucharist service on September 24th at St. James Cathedral, 65 Church St., Toronto.
The mass was composed for the cathedral choir, and it comprises the first external Cathedral commission in decades. The work is named after the Cathedral’s motto
of St. James: “In Fines Orbis Terrae” which is Latin for “To The Ends Of The Earth”.
The composer will be in attendance at the service at 11am. Robert Busiakiewicz, Director of Music at St. James Cathedral, will direct the choir. The organ will be played by Ian Sadler.
“We are thrilled to be working on this exciting new commission,” says Robert Busiakiewicz. “I believe that, as a Cathedral, we have a responsibility to promote devotional music that addresses a common malaise of composition at large which sees a flight to the extremes, leaving the centre empty. Luna’s music walks a brave path of integrity without ignoring the 20th Century’s innovations, or the ear’s natural predisposition for unbridled beauty and melody. Her ravishing new Mass setting for choir and organ is a refreshing tonic in an age of kitsch, clanging and cliché. It’s a very special addition to the repertoire, and I can’t wait to share this breathtaking sacred music with the world.”
Luna Pearl Woolf is a Montreal-based composer whose music has been praised for its “psychological nuances and emotional depth” by the New York Times. Her works of opera, dramatic chamber music, silent film, and storytelling have been commissioned by Carnegie Hall, Washington National Opera, Minnesota Sinfonia, Salle Bourgie, ECM+, and individual artists and festivals, collaborating with artists such as Joyce DiDonato, Frederica von Stade, Daniel Taylor, Lisa Delan, Christopher O’Riley, the Brentano String Quartet, and the Russian National Orchestra, as well as Academy Award-winner Jeremy Irons and author Cornelia Funke. To learn more about Ms. Woolf’s work, visit lunapearlwoolf.com.
The Choir of St. James Cathedral is an 18-voice professional choir who sings 11am Eucharist and 4:30pm Evensong services every Sunday.