- oboe, percussion
- c. 6 mins
- First performance
- The Chimera Ensemble, 10 December 2010, Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall, York, UK.
- Spring-Autumn 2010
Missa Solemnis is a short piece for oboe and percussion. The title alludes to the ritualistic feel of the piece. The introduction (which may be looped and played as the audience enter) features two sets of tubular bells antiphonally constructing a gradually intensifying sonority over several melodic phrases. This leads directly into the main material, announced by an upward flourish from the oboe, which is built on a cyclic series of intervals: major second, perfect fourth and major third. Thus when repeated this pattern builds a synthetic sound-world based on a pattern that repeats over a different interval than an octave: in this case a major seventh. This single idea is developed and gradually varied, providing all of the harmonic and melodic material for the rest of the piece.
The final section features a variation on the oboe motif in the vibraphone, which takes over the primary melodic role, with the oboe merely commenting in fragmentary bursts – punctuated by brash flutter-tonguing. As the piece winds down, the tubular bells quietly restate the opening material.