A survey of recorded performances of the Mass reveals a similar diversity. While many readings project a relatively dispassionate, uninflected profile for this movement, there are also examples of heatedly dramatic performances, as well as interpretations which project a sense of tension between calmer and more agitated elements.
In this paper, I propose to examine the stylistic and expressive profiles
of several performances, and the ways in which performers employ specific
performance parameters (e.g., tempo, articulation, timbre and so forth)
in order to highlight or suppress specific elements in the score. I will
also examine parallels (and possible patterns of mutual influence) between
these performative interpretations on the one hand, and critical interpretations
of this movement on the other.