Church of St. Francis Xavier
7 May 2022
“…The mass was Mercadante’s four part [sic] work, written originally for male voices, but sung on this occasion by the entire choir. Each part commences with a theme for the basses in unison. The Kyrie is as solemn and stately movement in D minor, the time being six-eight. The Christe is in the corresponding major key. Every number, as we have said, commences with a bass theme and ends with a fugue. The modulations are exceedingly ingenious and varied and the counterpoint throughout is remarkable for its simplicity as well as dramatic effectiveness. There is a great similarity in many respects between this mass and the three-voiced one, but this is far richer and on
“a grander scale.
“The Crucifixus is dramatic to a degree. The soprano announces the sublime tragedy of Calvary and the chorus murmur the words in accents of grief. The chorus then asks in passionate tones of sorrow, Eliam pro nobis (and for us) and the soprano answers in the affirmative in mournful and awestruck measures. The figures, one and all, are kaleidoscopic in their variations of the principal theme, and yet they are simple to the highest degree. Berge’s beautiful Tantum ergo for three voices was sung at the benediction of the mass, Miss Teresa Werneke singing the soprano solo with much feeling and expression. Dr. William Berge’s organ accompaniment gave light and color to the mass such as a master hand can bring to such a work.”