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Chamber Chorus premieres Cutter's new work

William Cutter. Photo by Karlene Rosera (Class of 2000)
William Cutter. Photo by Karlene Rosera (Class of 2000)

The 34-member MIT Chamber Chorus, under the direction of Lecturer William Cutter, will present the world premiere of Dr. Cutter's Missa Brevis in a concert on Sunday, Nov. 14 at 3pm in Kresge Auditorium.

"I have been wanting to compose a work for the talents and considerable musical skills of the MIT Chamber Chorus since I began as its conductor three years ago," said Dr. Cutter. Composed this past summer and officially dedicated to the group, the work is performed without accompaniment and features a solo quartet of singers in the Sanctus/Benedictus.

Dr. Cutter set Latin texts from the Roman Catholic Mass to music, trying, he said, to capture memories from his childhood of the "often hushed and unsynchronized mumbling of congregational prayers, the symbolic ringing of bells by the altar boys, the chanting of ancient Gregorian melodies to Latin texts, and the general sense of seriousness, humility and awe which was more the character of the Roman Catholic Mass before the reforms of Vatican II."

The concert will also include works by Henry Purcell, Benjamin Britten and Elliot Carter.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on November 10, 1999.

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