The most unusual recording in the bluegrass community! Commissioned for VocalEssence by Mike and Kay McCarthy and brilliantly executed by composer Carol Barnett and librettist Marisha Chamberlain, The World Beloved: A Bluegrass Mass blends the classical mass, modern choral sophistication, touching poetry and traditional bluegrass instrumentation into an exhilarating musical experience. This was recorded at the famed "Studio M" in St. Paul Minnesota under the direction of Philip Brunelle by Monroe Crossing and Minnesota's premier professional choir, the VocalEssence Ensemble Singers, and features our own Lisa Fuglie as soloist.
Don't expect a "bluegrass recording" as this is truly a choral work with bluegrass instrumentation, but it's highly recommended if your interested in hearing the outer reaches of the bluegrass influence. Included as a special bonus are 12 pieces of choral music without Monroe Crossing. With Matt, Lisa, Art, Mark and Benji.
Since the release of this CD Monroe Crossing has performed The World Beloved with choirs across the United Stages. Learn more about "The World Beloved: A Bluegrass Mass" and our trip to Carnegie Hall here.
Critical Acclaim for The World Beloved: A Bluegrass Mass
Minneapolis Star Tribune
International Alliance for Women in Music Journal
The music uplifts the poetry and interweaves the chorus and band into a masterful patchwork. One might expect simple harmonies and chords from a bluegrass piece for choir, but this is not the case. The harmonies are intricate and the rhythms are complex and, at times, rapid-fire. ... As one might expect, this "crossover" piece has attracted an unusual audience, bringing bluegrass musicians to choir concerts and causing choral directors to call upon banjo players. If you have any interest in the American choral or bluegrass scenes, this recording is not to be missed.