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Giustio Pio — Missa Populi
(Artis ARCD 058, 1995, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 1997-02-01

Missa Populi Cover art

Working around the familiar theme of the Roman Catholic Mass, Italian composer Giusto Pio has created a splendid and meticulously crafted work featuring a large choir, flutes and other woodwinds, percussion, keyboards, and electronics. This is not a rock mass as such, in fact there is no rock here at all; instead this is more along the lines of William Sheller's Lux Aeterna. The result is quite symphonic and orchestral in parts, while the sixty-piece choir handles the all-too-familiar Kyrie, Gloria in Excelsis, Credo, Sanctus and Agnus Dei. Moving from serene and pacific to heavy chanting, the project moves well and rarely stays in the same place too long. One minor complaint is that the electronic / keyboard generated sounds sometimes clash with those produced by the acoustic instruments. In a rock based context, of course this would be no problem, but when the subtleties of the sounds made by orchestral woodwinds meet with the less well behaved sounds of synthesizers in such an environment, the blending is not always smooth. Still, this is certainly enjoyable, even if a little quiet at times.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 11, 1995 releases

Related artist(s): Giusto Pio

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