The World Beloved: A Bluegrass Mass

CD: $15

Track Listing

The World Beloved: A Bluegrass Mas
1. Ballad Refrain
2. Kyrie
3. Ballad, First Verse
4. Gloria
5. Ballad, Second Verse and Refrain
5. Credo
7. Sanctus
8. Ballad, Third & Fourth Verses and Refrain
9. Agnus Dei
10. Interlude: "Art Thou Weary?"
11. Benediction
12. Conclusion

Choral Works
13. O Praise the Lord of Heaven
14. The Paper Reeds by the Brooks
15. Beneath These Alien Stars
16. The Day Is Done
17. I Cannot Dance, O Lord
18. Sing, My Soul, His Wondrous Love
19. Heritage
20. Zuni Sunrise Song
21. Water Night
22. My Soul's Been Anchored

The most unusual recording in the bluegrass community! Commissioned for VocalEssence by Mike and Kay McCarthy and brilliantly executed by composer Carol Barnett and librettist Marisha Chamberlain, The World Beloved: A Bluegrass Mass blends the classical mass, modern choral sophistication, touching poetry and traditional bluegrass instrumentation into an exhilarating musical experience. This was recorded at the famed "Studio M" in St. Paul Minnesota under the direction of Philip Brunelle by Monroe Crossing and Minnesota's premier professional choir, the VocalEssence Ensemble Singers, and features our own Lisa Fuglie as soloist.

Don't expect a "bluegrass recording" as this is truly a choral work with bluegrass instrumentation, but it's highly recommended if your interested in hearing the outer reaches of the bluegrass influence. Included as a special bonus are 12 pieces of choral music without Monroe Crossing. With Matt, Lisa, Art, Mark and Benji.

Learn More!

Since the release of this CD Monroe Crossing has performed The World Beloved with choirs across the United Stages. Learn more about "The World Beloved: A Bluegrass Mass" and our trip to Carnegie Hall here.

Critical Acclaim for The World Beloved: A Bluegrass Mass

Minneapolis Star Tribune
William Randall Beard, December 2007
Carol Barnett manages to honor both the classical choral tradition and the improvisatory impulse of bluegrass music in her contemporary rendition of the mass. Poet Marisha Chamberlain creates lyrics giving each of the sections of the Catholic liturgy (Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus, etc.) a contemporary interpretation. She also intersperses verses of a bluegrass ballad elucidating a joyful spirituality. In the performances of the VocalEssence Ensemble Singers and the bluegrass band Monroe Crossing, both traditions are in good hands, with formality and jubilance well balanced in this life-affirming celebration.

International Alliance for Women in Music Journal
by Joan Devee Dixon, May, 2009
In the realm of twentieth and twenty-first century classical music, rarely is a new work declared a "masterwork" soon after its premiere. Such is the case, however, with Carol Barnett's The World Beloved: A Bluegrass Mass. Commissioned by Mike and Kay McCarthy for Philip Brunelle and VocalEssence in 2007, the vibrant work successfully blends the bluegrass band Monroe Crossing with one of America's best choral ensembles. Performances of Barnett's Bluegrass Mass have spread like wildfire across the USA. ...

The music uplifts the poetry and interweaves the chorus and band into a masterful patchwork. One might expect simple harmonies and chords from a bluegrass piece for choir, but this is not the case. The harmonies are intricate and the rhythms are complex and, at times, rapid-fire. ... As one might expect, this "crossover" piece has attracted an unusual audience, bringing bluegrass musicians to choir concerts and causing choral directors to call upon banjo players. If you have any interest in the American choral or bluegrass scenes, this recording is not to be missed.