1971 Leonard Bernstein – Mass

Mass is a musical theatre work composed by Leonard Bernstein with text by Bernstein and additional text and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz. Commissioned by Jacqueline Kennedy, it premiered on September 8, 1971, conducted by Maurice Peress and choreographed by Alvin Ailey. The production used costume designs by Frank Thompson. The performance was part of the opening of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Mass premiered in Europe in 1973, with John Mauceri conducting the Yale Symphony Orchestra in Vienna.

Originally, Bernstein had intended to compose a traditional Mass, but instead decided on a more “innovative” form. The work is based on the Tridentine Mass of the Catholic Church. The liturgical passages are sung mostly in Latin, though the “Sanctus” includes portions in Hebrew. Mass also includes additional texts in English written by Bernstein, Broadway composer Stephen Schwartz, and Paul Simon (who wrote the first quatrain of the trope “Half of the People”). The work is intended to be staged theatrically, but it has also been performed in a standard concert setting.


1 I. Devotions Before Mass (Leonard Bernstein)
   1. Antiphon: Kyrie Eleison 01:58
   2. Hymn And Psalm: “A Simple Song” 04:42
   3. Responsory: Alleluia 01:07
2 Ii. First Introit (Rondo) (Leonard Bernstein)
   1. Prefatory Prayers 05:14
   2. Thrice – Triple Canon: Dominum Vobiscum 00:36
 3 Iii. Second Introit (Leonard Bernstein)
   1. In Nomine Patris 02:00
   2. Prayer For The Congregation (Chorale: “Almighty Father”) 01:30
   3. Epiphany 00:54
4 Iv. Confession (Leonard Bernstein)
   1. Confiteor 02:22
   2. Trope: “I Don’t Know” 01:43
   3. Trope: “Easy” 05:43
5 V. Meditation #1 (Leonard Bernstein) 05:09
6 Vi. Gloria (Leonard Bernstein)
   1. Gloria Tibi 01:48
   2. Gloria In Excelsis 01:14
   3. Trope: “Half Of The People” 00:58
   4. Trope: “Thank You” 02:45
7 Vii. Meditation #2 (Leonard Bernstein) 03:57
8 Viii. Epistle: “The Word Of The Lord” (Leonard Bernstein) 05:57
9 Ix. Gospel-Sermon: “God Said” (Leonard Bernstein) 04:59
10 X Credo (Leonard Bernstein)
   1. Credo In Unum Deum 01:06
   2. Trope: “Non Credo” 02:16
   3. Trope: “Hurry” 01:20
   4. Trope: “World Without End” 01:43
   5. Trope: “I Believe In God” 02:10
11 Xi. Meditation #3 (De Profundis, Part 1) (Leonard Bernstein) 02:49
12 Xii. Offertory (De Profundis, Part 2) (Leonard Bernstein) 02:02
13 Xiii. The Lord’s Prayer (Leonard Bernstein)
   1. “Our Father…” 01:47
   2. Trope: “I Go On” 02:34
14 Xiv. Sanctus (Leonard Bernstein) 05:14
15 Xv. Agnus Dei (Beginning) (Leonard Bernstein) 07:06
16 Xv. Agnus Dei (Conclusion) (Leonard Bernstein)
17 Xvi. Fraction: “Things Get Broken” (Leonard Bernstein) 14:20
18 Xvii. Pax: Communion (“Secret Songs” (Leonard Bernstein) 09:50


BassJohn Beal
BassJuan Ramirez
Double BassJoseph Willens
Double BassMike Willens
DrumsHenry Jaramillo
DrumsHerb Harris
DrumsRick Cutler
GuitarJames Mitchell
GuitarScott Kuney
KeyboardsLinda Breeden
KeyboardsTom Pierson
BassoonDonald MacCourt
BassoonVince Ellin
FluteClaudia Anderson
FluteThomas Kay
French HornCarl Bianchi
French HornCarolyn Tate
French HornSamuel Ramsey
French HornSharon Moe
OboeDavid Busch
OboePeter Bowman
TromboneBill Reichenbach
TromboneJohn Swallow
TromboneRobert Biddicome
TromboneStuart Taylor
TromboneThomas Mitchell
TrumpetCharles Lewis
TrumpetEmerson Head
TrumpetPeter Chapman
TrumpetRolf Smedvig
TubaSamuel Pilafian
HarpFaith Carmin

Other Musicians

1 I. Devotions Before Mass
  1. Antiphon: Kyrie Eleison

VocalsBetty Allen
VocalsDominic Cassa
VocalsKaren Altman
VocalsRaymond DeVoll

   2. Hymn And Psalm: “A Simple Song”

VocalsAlan Titus

   3. Responsory: Alleluia

VocalsAdrienne Albert
VocalsCharles Magruder
VocalsJohn Manno
VocalsJune Magruder
VocalsMaeretha Stewart
VocalsWilliam Elliot

3. Epiphany

OboeLeonard Arner

1. Confiteor
   2. Trope: “I Don’t Know”

VocalsCarl Hall
VocalsRonald Young

   3. Trope: “Easy”

VocalsLouis St Louis
VocalsMarion Ramsey
VocalsEd Dixon
VocalsJoy Franz

5 V. Meditation #1

VocalsEugene Edwards

6 Vi. Gloria
   1. Gloria Tibi

VocalsAlan Titus

4. Trope: “Thank You”

VocalsLee Hooper

8 Viii. Epistle: “The Word Of The Lord”

VocalsAlan Titus

9 Ix. Gospel-Sermon: “God Said”

VocalsBenjamin Rayson
VocalsCarole Prandis
VocalsJohn D Anthony
VocalsJudy Gibson
VocalsRonald Young

10 X Credo
   2. Trope: “Non Credo”

VocalsDavid Cryer

   3. Trope: “Hurry”

VocalsGina Penn

   4. Trope: “World Without End”

VocalsMary Bracken Phillips

   5. Trope: “I Believe In God”

VocalsTom Ellis

13 Xiii. The Lord’s Prayer
   1. “Our Father…”

VocalsAlan Titus

   2. Trope: “I Go On”

VocalsAlan Titus

17 Xvi. Fraction: “Things Get Broken”

VocalsAlan Titus

18 Xvii. Pax: Communion (“Secret Songs)”

VocalsBarbara Williams
VocalsDavid Cryer
VocalsEd Dixon
VocalsJohn D Anthony
VocalsJonathan Gram
VocalsJoy Franz
VocalsMargaret Cowie
VocalsRonald Young


Choir – The Berkshire Boys Choir, The Norman Scribner Choir

Liner Notes

Producer – Roger L Stevens
Producer (Associate) – Schuyler G. Chapin
Conductor – Leonard Bernstein
Coordinator – Diana Shumlin
Director – Maurice Peress

Design – Ed Lee
Photography – Henry Grossmanm Don Hunstein

Phonographic Copyright CBS
Copyright CBS