The Glagolitic Mass
One of the masterpieces of 20th century choral music, Leoš Janáček’s “Glagolitic Mass” (1926) turns the traditional mass on its head. Instead of a Latin text, it uses a version written in Glagolitic, an ancient Slavonic alphabet. Instead of the customary five movements, there are nine, including a stupendous organ solo near the end. As one critic wrote after the work’s premiere in England in 1930, “One has to shed all one’s prejudices in favour of civilised European music, German or Italian, to appreciate its virtues."