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Mass in F

At the end of the summer, Robert McCormick asked if I would arrange Charles Wood’s Mass in F for string quartet, harp, organ, and choir. The project took about two weeks and what a rewarding process it has been! Wood’s music lends itself well to additional part-writing and it’s been a personal joy to bring together my orchestra and choir lives to write something for strings and choir.

The choir parts were to be left unaltered, but everything else was up for grabs. I used Wood’s language and notes to create a new accompaniment shared between the instruments. Although the score is not particularly “orchestral” in that it’s not always obvious Wood was imagining an orchestration of the piece, I tried to get in his head and imagine how he might score something similar. Of course there were some obvious imitative sections which wrote themselves such as the harp arpeggios in the Sanctus and string quartet writing in the Benedictus.

I can’t wait to hear this piece performed on Christmas Eve at Saint Mark’s and am privileged to have helped create it. I hope the new parts bring out the beauty of what Wood composed and draw the listener into the serenity and awe of the Nativity.

More details and a score preview can be found on the compositions page. If you have a use for this score and would like to perform it, please let me know!

– Bryan Dunnewald, 28 August 2019