ClassicsOnline Home » SIERRA, R.: Missa Latina, "Pro Pace" (Murphy, Webster, Milwaukee Symphony, Delfs) > Review List

SIERRA, R.: Missa Latina, "Pro Pace" (Murphy, Webster, Milwaukee Symphony, Delfs)

Composer(s):Sierra, Roberto
Period(s) Contemporary
Genre Classical Music
Category Choral - Sacred
Catalogue 8.559624
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
Download and Stream

Commissioned by the National Symphony Orchestra of Washington DC, Roberto Sierra’s Missa Latina “is remarkably organic in its expression: if it is music that sets out to be liked—perhaps loved—it is also a unified and, one suspects, deeply felt utterance of the heart…the Missa Latina will bring pleasure to a great many listeners. (Indeed, the ‘Sanctus’ could almost be turned into a pop song.)…I can’t imagine anybody who starts listening to the Missa Latina wanting to turn it off before it is over” (The Washington Post).


Review By Robert R. Reilly,,December 2009

At first I blanched at the idea of Roberto Sierra’s Missa Latina “Pro Pace.” Spare me, I thought, from yet another musical vulgarization of the Mass to show how “street”—current or sensitive to ethnic sensitivities it can be. I was wrong. Yes, there are some Latin rhythms in this Missa, but they are not what make it such a good work. First of all, Sierra takes the text seriously: He is not writing a high school musical (which is about the level of the church music I regularly hear intoned by overly earnest teenagers.) He brings a dramatic seriousness to the texts and, importantly, radiant vocal lines to the soprano and baritone. In fact, this Missa is almost a throwback to the era of high Romanticism. Latin rhythms do enliven things, but they


Review By Christopher Purdy,Classical 101 FM,December 2009

Gerard Schwarz conducts the Seattle Symphony. Arthur Foote (1853–1937) was part of a Boston based group of composers active from the late 19th into the early 20th centuries that came to be known as “The Second New England School.” They are played little and studied less, but Gerard Schwarz makes a good case for the power and beauty of Foote’s music…

Review By David Denton, Naxos,June 2009

Born in 1953, Roberto Sierra is one of the growing number of composers working in the United States who have created a modern view of tonality, that style of writing forming the basis for this highly charged Latin Mass. Sierra recalls that he was brought up in a Catholic family in Puerto Rico where he would hear the Mass performed in Latin, which to him was a dead language.  So he here uses the broader context of a ‘Latino’ character, making full use of Caribbean gestures that go back to his Hispanic heritage. That surfaces in the use of exotic percussion instruments and rather jazzy rhythms. Yet, within this framework, it is a work of religious import that uses two singers—soprano and baritone—with a large chorus and full symphony



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