Music for 22nd Sunday After Pentecost — October 29, 2023

Music for the Twenty-Second Sunday after Pentecost

Missa brevis – PJ Janson (b. 1967)



Agnus Dei

This morning’s setting of the Mass Ordinary by PJ Janson was written in 2018 in memory of Janis Waller. Janis was an active member of St. James’ where, in addition to singing in the choir, she helped organise the bi-annual rummage sales and, of course, knit many items for the sales that benefit the work the church does with residents of the Downtown Eastside.

The Kyrie is set in the Dorian mode — a church mode which Plato described as eliciting strong, powerful emotions. The Sanctus opens with extended harmonies sung by the upper voices, which is mirrored in the opening of the Benedictus with the diatonic harmonies sung by lower voices. The Agnus Dei recalls the Dorian mode of the Kyrie, but quickly takes on a chromatic character — as if to knit together old and new. An antiphonal section sung by sopranos and altos pauses on an extended chord, and then finds its resolution in the ‘dona nobis pacem.’

PJ Janson