Instrumentation: soprano, piccolo, bass clarinet, viola, cello, piano
Premiere: Performed by Alluna Ensemble and soprano Sara di Bella,
7th May 2015, RIAM.
Red Mass was written for performance by the Alluna Ensemble and soprano Sara di Bella as part of RIAM's 'Responses to Pierrot Lunaire' Project in May, 2015. I used the text and instrumentation from no. 11 'Red Mass' or 'Rote Messe' of Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire. For the final two lines in my piece the singer uses the German translation. 'Sein Herz - in blutgen fingern - Zu grausem Abendmahle!' It is a transformation representing the desanctification of the communion which is described in the text.
To gruesome grim communion,
By blinding golden glitter,
By flickering shine of candles,
Comes to the altar – Pierro_
His hand, to God devoted
tears wide the priestly vestment,
At gruesome grim communion,
By blinding golden glitter.
He makes the sign of the cross
blessing the trembling, trembling people,
with trickling crimson wafer:
his heart in bloody fingers,
at gruesome grim commumion
English translation by Andrew Porter. Text by Albert Giraud