Excerpt from the Gloria (page 29, orchestral score) orchestral version:
The Missa Pax was commissioned by Noel Edison and the Elora Festival Singers for the joint anniversaries of the Elora Festival and the Festival of the Sound, Parry Sound.
Version for full orchestra and choir premiered at Canadian Mennonite University, Winnipeg March 24, 2014.
Gloria from the Missa Pax recorded on the NAXOS label:
Elora Festival Singers performing the Sanctus:
“The first notes, pierced from inside the piano’s upper register, initiated a haunting invocation of spirit (Veni, Sancte Spiritus) — unison female chant, with swirling piano arpeggios and clarinet countermelody. This smouldering conjuring of heavenly radiance continued into the Kyrie only to finally cut loose into a radiant, full-bodied Christe Eleison plea for mercy.
The Gloria felt like the heart of the piece — a wonderful tapestry of colours and textures. At one point, it was scattered vocal staccatos, jostling around a tonal centre. At another, it was a wonderfully sustained alto supporting undulating soprano. The progression from the simmering Laudamus Te up to a supercharged fortissimo Gloria in Excelsis Deo was a fantastically cathartic moment of celebration, featuring stratospheric sopranos unflinchingly launching heavenward.
For this piece Corlis was not afraid of melodic beauty rendered over a natural sense of progression. Just when you think he might veer towards shmaltz, he takes the harmony on an unexpected turn, teasing the ear and extending the tension. This gives the composer’s work a wonderful sense of accessibility while also being challenging and maintaining interest. There is also an unabashed feeling of emotional authenticity that proves irresistible to the listener.
After a wonderful unaccompanied clarinet solo, the Sanctus offered broad canyons of vocal texture, finishing with block chords of a clanging Hosanna In Excelsis. Signature elements continued in the rest of the piece included the rolling piano arpeggios . . . as well as a continued use of clarinet, providing excellent textural variety. The final Benedictus brought the piece to rest with a unison vocal amen.
The audience reaction was instantaneous. Leaping to their feet, the collective excitement communicated something extraordinary — a very special moment with a very special piece, and a secure sense that local boy Tim Corlis had arrived on the international stage.”
– Steven Preece, THE KW RECORD – JULY 19, 2009