Finnish composer Einojuhani RautavaaraPhoto: Maarit Kytoharju / Fimic
A notable event took place on November 25, 2011, in the Netherlands. The Jacobikerk in Utrecht was the site of the world premiere of a new 25-minute choral work, Missa a cappella, by Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara, performed by the internationally renowned Netherlands Radio Choir.
The event is notable for several reasons, the first and foremost being that a new large-scale work by Rautavaara, the leading Finnish composer of his generation, is a major event in itself. The Mass, which has been forty years in gestation (he wrote the Credo in 1972), not only has intrinsic value but also constitutes something of a spiritual testament. It was received with a standing ovation, with the choir repeating the beautiful Agnus Dei as an encore.
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