Missa Aedis Christi
Written in 1993 (for SATB), Howard’s Mass was commissioned by the Friends of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford and premiered by the Cathedral Choir that year. Howard composed the work from the Sanctus onwards, which was inspired by the sound of bells he heard one August in the village of Embrun in Southern France. The Mass began to emerge from Howard’s noting down of the sounds of the mingling of distant and nearby bells.
Howard decided to write the Mass for performance in Latin partly because he felt that so few contemporary masses were written in this way, and also because he felt strongly about the superiority of the language for singing. The Mass is written for double choir throughout, with a string quintet augmenting the organ.
It is available on the Howard Goodall Choral Works CD.