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Oregon Rep to present 'Critical Mass'

For The Review, Tidings

Oregon Repertory Singers will conclude its 42nd season with two performances of “Critical Mass” on April 23 and April 24 at First United Methodist Church in southwest Portland.

“Critical Mass” features two of the most important compositions for a capella choir from the early 20th century. The first is “Mass in G Minor” by English composer Ralph Vaughn Williams. The second is by Swiss composer Frank Martin, whose stunning “Mass for Double Chorus” was never intended to be performed publicly.

Martin considered the work a youthful attempt, on his way to a more mature style. Fortunately, more than 40 years after its completion, the Mass was finally performed and has now become standard repertoire for major choral ensembles.

Both compositions were modeled after the liturgical masses of the Renaissance, resulting in sounds as if a Renaissance Mass was lost in time, aware of both its musical history and beauty and of the horrors soon to unfold.

The concert will be presented at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 23, and 4 p.m. on Sunday, April 24, at First United Methodist Church, 1838 S.W. Jefferson St., Portland. Tickets are $15-$35 and can be purchased online at brownpapertickets.com/event/2220568 or by calling 800-838-3006.

Oregon Repertory Singers is a nonprofit organization that performs world-class music accessible to all. With a professional-caliber choir of more than 90 members and an education and performance-based youth choir music program serving children ages 4-18, ORS is committed to presenting inspiring performances that leave audiences breathless.

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